The BIDS ISI Data Service is the first online end‐user bibliographic data service freely available to anyone from a subscribing higher education institution in the United Kingdom. Most U.K. universities and many other teaching and research organisations have taken out subscriptions, and accesses currently exceed 7,500 per week. The service, operated from the campus of the University of Bath by BIDS (Bath Information & Data Services), is the result of an agreement reached between CHEST (the Combined Higher Education Software Team who negotiate with software and data suppliers on behalf of the U.K. academic community) and ISI (the Institute for Scientific Information, USA). The service is described, an account is given of how it came into being, and an assessment is made of some of the likely effects on the activities of computer centres, libraries, and academics. It concludes with a review of likely future BIDS ISI developments.
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