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You can use the Transfer File Entries option to merge two entries that are in the same file. To do this:
Data values are then transferred from the FROM entry to the TO entry. The following example shows the simple dialogue:
Select OPTION: TRANSFER ENTRIES Select TRANSFER OPTION: ? ANSWER WITH TRANSFER OPTION NUMBER, OR NAME CHOOSE FROM: 1 TRANSFER FILE ENTRIES 2 COMPARE/MERGE FILE ENTRIES Select TRANSFER OPTION: 1 TRANSFER FILE ENTRIES INPUT TO WHAT FILE: PATIENT TRANSFER FROM WHAT FILE: PATIENT TRANSFER DATA INTO WHICH PATIENT: RECIPIENT,ROGER TRANSFER DATA FROM PATIENT: SENDER,SAM WANT TO DELETE THIS ENTRY AFTER IT'S BEEN TRANSFERRED? NO//
If the TO entry (Roger Recipient in our example) already has a value on file for a given field, that value will be preserved (i.e., it will not be overwritten by the corresponding field value in the FROM entry). This rule applies to word processing data fields also. If the recipient has any text on file, corresponding text from the sender's entry is not merged with it. Thus, if you decide to delete the FROM entry (Sam Sender here), you may lose some data.
In the case of distinct Multiple-valued subfields, merging will take place. The subentries in the FROM entry would be added to the Multiple in the TO entry. Further, if two subentries have the same .01 value and if any of the subfields are blank in the TO entry, the FROM subentry's data will be placed in the blank subfield. In this way, data is added to Multiples in the same way that it is added to files.
For example, suppose DIAGNOSIS is the label of the .01 field of a Multiple and AGE AT ONSET is a subfield in that Multiple. If Roger Recipient has a DIAGNOSIS of "Angina" and Sam Sender has one of "Diabetes", Recipient ends up with both "Angina" and "Diabetes". Further, if both Recipient and Sender had "Angina", but Recipient had no AGE AT ONSET for that subentry and Sender did have one, the Sender's AGE AT ONSET data for "Angina" would be transferred to Recipient.
The following example illustrates the transfer of data values from one entry to another in more detail. (These two entries will also be used in the discussion of the Compare/Merge File Entries option.) Before the transfer, the Inquire to File Entries option displays these two entries from the SCHOLAR file:
NAME: RUSSELL,BERTRAND A. SSN: 999-99-9999 SUBJECT AREA: PHILOSOPHY TOPICS: RUSSELL'S PARADOX TOPICS: PRINCIPLE OF EXCLUDED MIDDLE TOPICS: SET THEORY TOPICS: THEORY OF TYPES TOPICS: LIAR PARADOX
NAME: RUSSELL,BERTRAND W. DATE OF BIRTH: 1872 SSN: 888-88-8888 SUBJECT AREA: MATHEMATICS TOPICS: RUSSELL'S PARADOX TOPICS: SET THEORY TOPICS: THEORY OF TYPES TOPICS: AXIOM OF INFINITY
The transfer is then initiated with the following dialogue:
Select TRANSFER OPTION: TRANSFER FILE ENTRIES INPUT TO WHAT FILE: SCHOLAR TRANSFER FROM FILE: SCHOLAR TRANSFER DATA INTO WHICH SCHOLAR: RU 1 RUSSELL,BERTRAND A. 2 RUSSELL,BERTRAND W. CHOOSE 1-2: 1 TRANSFER FROM SCHOLAR: RUSSELL,BERTRAND W. WANT TO DELETE THIS ENTRY AFTER IT'S TRANSFERRED? NO// YES ...EXCUSE ME, LET ME THINK ABOUT THAT A MOMENT.....
Data values are then merged such that no pre-existing values are overwritten but new values are added. The DATE OF BIRTH is added since the pre-existing value was null. Different subentries in the TOPICS Multiple are added to the pre-existing list of topics. The Inquire to File Entries option shows the result:
NAME: RUSSELL, BERTRAND A. DATE OF BIRTH: 1872 SSN: 999-99-9999 SUBJECT AREA: PHILOSOPHY TOPICS: RUSSELL'S PARADOX TOPICS: PRINCIPLE OF EXCLUDED MIDDLE TOPICS: SET THEORY TOPICS: THEORY OF TYPES TOPICS: LIAR PARADOX TOPICS: AXIOM OF INFINITY The entry for Russell,Bertrand W. has been deleted.
Reviewed/Updated: March 4, 2007