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is an online information service owned by ProQuest
ProQuest LLC is an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based electronic publisher and microfilm publisher.It provides archives of sources such as newspapers, periodicals, dissertations, and aggregated databases of many types. Its content is estimated at 125 billion digital pages...
, who acquired it from Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters Corporation is a provider of information for the world's businesses and professionals and is created by the Thomson Corporation's purchase of Reuters Group on 17 April 2008. Thomson Reuters is headquartered at 3 Times Square, New York City, USA...
Dialog was one of the predecessors of the World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...
as a provider of information, though not in form. The earliest form of the Dialog system was completed in 1966 under the direction of Roger K. Summit
Roger K. Summit is the founder of Dialog Information Services, and has been called the father of modern online search. He worked for Lockheed in the 1960s, was put in charge of its information retrieval lab, and from his work created a system that became known as Dialog and spun off by Lockheed in...
. According to its literature, it was "the world's first online information retrieval system to be used globally with materially significant databases". In the 1980s, a low-priced dial-up version of a subset of Dialog was marketed to individual users as Knowledge Index
. This subset included INSPEC
Inspec is a major indexing database of scientific and technical literature, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology , and formerly by the Institution of Electrical Engineers , one of the IET's forerunners....
, MathSciNet, over 200 other bibliographic and reference databases, as well as third-party retrieval vendors who would go to physical libraries to copy materials for a fee and send it to the service subscriber.