Roger Summit
CEO Emeritus, Dialog


Dr. Roger K. Summit is the founder and chairman emeritus of Dialog. An expert in information systems design, Roger conducted pioneering work beginning in 1962 while at the Lockheed Corporation that led to the creation of Dialog, the first-of-its-kind online information retrieval system. Under Roger’s direction, various versions of Dialog, called RECON, were installed in the 1960s for such government agencies as NASA, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the European Space Research Organization (now the European Space Agency). Dialog is associated with several “firsts” in information retrieval milestones:

  • The first national network of terminals involving a large-scale database in 1967, via several NASA facilities accessing the NASA database of 400,000 aerospace citations.
  • The first trans-European information retrieval network in 1969 operated by the European Space Research Organization.
  • The first extensive nationwide application of a non-defense related online information retrieval service in 1969 offering the ERIC database (educational materials) to teachers and researchers via several centers around the country.

Following the commercial launch of Dialog in 1972, Roger held positions as manager, director, and president and chief executive officer of the business. He has also held respected positions on national and international advisory boards and in professional associations, and has received numerous awards. Roger has published over 100 papers and journal articles based on his knowledge of and experience with online information services.

In addition to his 40 years of involvement with Dialog, Roger has also served as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy (1952–1955), an associate professor in the Graduate School of Business at San José State University (1963–1965), a visiting professor at Chico State College in Chico, Calif. (1980, 1984), and as a lecturer at both Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Calif. (1984) and the University of Michigan (1990, 1991). He is widely published and spoken of in the field of information sciences, and has been a member of several national committees dealing with information policy.

Roger holds a doctorate in management science, a master’s in business administration, and a bachelor’s in psychology, all from Stanford University in Stanford, California.