As was true the previous year, there was no major new standard reference work published for the area of physics; it is notable that most of the reviews which follow are of astronomy reference books. The most important developments in physics reference work continue to concern computerized searching of bibliographic data bases. In the Lockheed Corporation's DIALOG system all three retrospective parts of the INSPEC file, consisting of Physics Abstracts, Electrical and Electronics Abstracts, and Computer and Control Abstracts, have been merged as DIALOG file 12. File 12 holds the data through 1977 for the three abstracting journals, and file 13 is now being used to store the data from 1978 onwards. This rearrangement is convenient for searches that cut across disciplinary lines within physics and engineering, but on the other hand it requires a repeat of each search in order to get the most recent material in file 13.
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