The provision of computer‐based information services to workers in scientific, technical, and other disciplines continues to grow in importance, both for selective dissemination and for retrospective searching. As yet, however, these services affect a relatively small proportion of the possible user population, who remain more or less dependent on the traditional printed resources. The introduction of computer technology by the abstracting and indexing services has more immediate significance for the production of the conventional printed tools, which remain the bread‐and‐butter of the services, and provide them with their main source of revenue. In the short term, at least, the users are also likely to gain more from the automation of publication processes, as a result of the reduction of time‐lags, greater flexibility and variety of printed resources, and enhanced means of access to these resources.
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