Collection, selection, analysis and dissemination of technical and commercial information are the basic functions of an information centre in a typical corporate scientific establishment. Information is sourced internally and from a variety of commercial information vendors world‐wide. The development of a prototype computer‐based system is described which provides these facilities to users on a distributed computer network. Although designed for scientists, the concept could be equally well applied throughout industry and commerce. The information management environment facilitates access to a wide range of bibliographic and textual databases, offers automated document ordering and provides comprehensive facilities for interactive handling of document surrogates. It preserves the investment made in data collection by promoting information sharing and re‐use via interpersonal transfer and personal database preparation.
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