School of Information Management & Systems. Fall 2000.
Infosys 142 Access to American cultural heritages.   Buckland.

Exercise 4: MELVYL's other databases. Due Sept 28.

The purpose of this exercise is two-fold: (1) To learn about MELVYL's EXPLAIN facility; and (2) To assure minimal familiarity with databases provided by the California Digital Library ("MELVYL") other than the MELVYL CATALOG. This exercise is designed for use at campus library terminals or by telnetting into MELVYL (not GLADIS!).

MELVYL has extensive provision for "explaining" itself. Enter MELVYL. Try EXPLAIN EXPLAIN
A Glossary lists "explained" words. Try EXPLAIN GLOSSARY    Scan the screens.
Try EXPLAIN [term] for a term of your choice.   What term?
Does the explanation seem adequate?

Several databases are available in addition to the MELVYL CATALOG -- and also provision for using MELVYL to access databases elsewhere. Increasingly these other databases include an "abstract" (summary) and/or the entire text of the document as well as bibliographic record.
Try EXPLAIN DATABASES   or E DB for short.
Enter   START    Enter ALPHA   and scroll down the list to get an idea of the range of choices.
Enter   MAGS    (If lost SET DB MAGS)
Note that   F KW   (Find KeyWord, not available in the CATALOG) searches in both titles and subject headings for the word(s) specified, essentially the sum of   F   TW   and   F   SW
Do   F   KW   TAKAKI   MIRROR   for reviews of a book that many of you just read. MAGS gives a letter grade reflecting the reviewer's evaluation. To see them use   D   LONG   or   D   NOTES   Some reviewers did not give this book an A grade. What are they complaining about? To find out use   D   NOTES   ABS   TEXT   [and optionally number(s)]   Briefly explain one.

Do   START, pick some other database inside the MELVYL system (but not CAT or MAGS)
using   SET   DB [whatever] and do a search of interest to yourself.
What database did you choose?
What did you search for?

Print out or make a brief note of a record you found.

MELVYL also supports use of selected databases elsewhere, outside the MELVYL system. Try   EXPLAIN   USE
Databases elsewhere have commands that may differ from MELVYL's but they tend to intelligible and generally respond to HELP or ?     Try ERIC, a database of education literature at Stanford. Do EXPLAIN ERIC then USE ERIC
When you reach ERIC enter HELP   Read what it says, then enter OPTIONS
Look for items that appear to discuss cultural heritage and self-image in education. To display a full record (like D LONG), use DF [e.g., DF 2]
Explain any one briefly.

Try some other search in ERIC for something relevant to this course. What did you find?
To return to MELVYL use LOGOUT
[OPTIONAL] Try some recreational searching.