The growth of CAS‐IAS (current alerting service — individual article supply) services in the 1990s has not delivered the rapid benefits expected by information practitioners. This article focuses on the alerting aspects of CAS‐IAS services and documents the results of a series of surveys carried out at a UK cancer research institute over a four year period. By the first quarter of 1997, in over 50% of cases in a sample group of titles the shelf issue was more current, or as current, as the alerting services. The article also includes a mid‐1997 overview of the CAS‐IAS services available and lists factors to be considered by information practitioners in any evaluation of the document delivery aspect of CAS‐IAS services. The conclusion is that the monitoring of service developments and their performance will have to continue for the foreseeable future.
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