Sch. of Information Management & Systems. Spring 2000.
Infosys 245: Organization of Information in Collections.
Exercise 5: MELVYL's other databases. Due March 1.
The purpose of this exercise is two-fold: (1) Learn about the EXPLAIN
facility; (2) Assure minimal familiarity with MELVYL databases other
than the CATALOG. This exercise is designed for use at campus library
terminals or by telnetting into MELVYL. (MELVYL, not GLADIS!).
The MELVYL has extensive provision for "explaining" itself -- Using the
EXPLAIN command followed by whatever needs to be explained.
Enter MELVYL. Try EXPLAIN EXPLAIN
There is a Glossary listing words that are "explained" and with numerous
Try EXPLAIN GLOSSARY Scan the screens.
Try EXPLAIN [term] for a term of your choice. What term?
Is the explanation adequate?
There are several databases in the MELVYL system in addition to the
CATALOG -- and also provision for using
MELVYL to access databases elsewhere.
Try EXPLAIN DATABASES - or E DB for short.
Two classes of database access are provided:
(i) You can "set" the database
within the databases locally-mounted within the
MELVYL system and, for these, one uses the
MELVYL command language with minor enhancements; and
(ii) You can "use"
MELVYL serves as a front-end and enables access, but you are liable to
be required to
use the commands of that remote system.
For the locally-mounted databases enter EXPLAIN SET DB
For remote databases enter EXPLAIN USE and look over
the several successive screens.
Enter START Enter ALPHA
Enter MAGS (If you get lost do SET DB MAGS)
Enter HELP MAGS or EXPLAIN MAGS. Both give the same result.
Note that FIND KEYWORD searches for in both titles and subject headings
for the word(s) specified, essentially the sum of F TW
and F SU
Do F KW METADATA STANDARDS
Do DISPLAY LONG Browse some screens, noting the variety of metadata.
MELVYL's databases increasingly include the text or an abstract (summary)
of the text as well as bibliographic record. For an example,
Do D 17 TEXT (by Jessica Milstead) and read it.
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.
[OPTIONAL] Try some recreational searching.