Re: Recent Comments by Albert Henderson

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 13:23:25 -0400

In medicine what IM does not cover is primarily the
non-English language less-important specialty journals. There is another
indexing service that covers them well, Excerpta Medica.

It seems perfectly rational for both to exist: a University like ours,
without a medical school, does not need Excerpta Medica but does need
Index Medicus. A medical school library would want both.

(Third-world journals were being covered a few years ago by a CD product
called ExtraMed, does anyone know if this is a continuing project?)

IM does indeed not cover non-journal material,
and I suspect this is at present a gap in the
bibliographic coverage of secondary services in many disciplines.
Does CA cover individual chapters in monographs, for example?
They can be articles to all intents and purposes.

I don't think this is what Al meant, but I suspect that what we do need
is more integrated indexing and cross linking, including not just
formally published literature but preprints and so on. It is possible that
new services like Pubsci, and other more sophisticated automated tools to
be developed, may do better than the conventional services--and conceivably at
a lower cost.

Ken Rouse wrote:
> In a recent comment Albert Henderson said the following:
> --
> The bottleneck in science communications is based on the theory that
> researchers can locate useful materials through
> databases and citations in the literature.
> The databases have reduced their coverage, also
> thanks to stingy budgets. The National Library
> of Medicine bibliographies, which in early days
> attemped to be comprehensive, covered less than
> ten percent of the biomedical literature according
> to the centenery essay by Martin Cummings. Analyses
> of other discipline-wide databases reveal similar
> shortcomings. Like the libraries themselves, the
> secondary information services are shrinking in
> comparison to the totality of publication.
> I would like to see Mr. Henderson's "Analyses of other discipline-wide
> databases...." This is certainly not the case with Chemical Abstracts,
> the major, comprehensive index for all the varieties of chemistry.
> Kendall Rouse, Head, Chemistry Library
> University of Wisconsin-Madison
> 1101 University Ave.
> Madison WI 53706
> Telephone: 608-2622942 FAX: 608-2629002 Email:

David Goodman
Biology Librarian
and Co-chair, Electronic Journals Task force
Princeton University Library
Princeton, NJ 08544-0001
phone: 609-258-3235
fax: 609-258-2627
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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