Engineering data information source

In addition to what has been presented throughout this book such as the software on designing products in Chapter 5, this section provides source information concerning plastic material data basis. The available information worldwide has reached a volume that makes it impossible for one to review all the sources. In order to retrieve the desired or needed information, indexes and abstracts are continuously prepared by individual libraries, technical organizations, and professional societies. By the 1960s computers became available for storing and manipulating information. This lead to the creation and marketing of automated data banks.

Available for manual searching are abstracts that typically provide the name of the author, a brief abstract of the article, the tide of the article, and identify where the article was published. Alphabetical author and subject indexes are usually provided, and an identifying number is assigned to refer to the abstract. Many abstracts are published monthly or more frequendy. Annual cumulations are available in many cases. A comprehensive listing of abstracts and indexes can be found in Ulrich's International Periodical Directory (annual from R. R. Bowker, New York).

Most of the major indexes and abstracts are now available in machine-readable form. For a comprehensive list of databases and online vendors see Information Industry Market Place (International Directory of Information Products & Services from R. R. Bowker, New York). The names of online databases frequendy differ from their paper counterparts. Engineering Index (monthly from Engineering Information Inc.) for example, offers COMPENDEX and Engineering Meetings online.

Many of the professional societies producing online databases will undertake a literature search. A society member is frequendy entided to reduced charges for this service. In addition to indexes and abstracts, periodicals, encyclopedias, and handbooks are available online. There seems to be virtually no limit to the information that can be made available online or on CD-ROM's, which can be networked in large institutions with many potential users. The high demand for quick information retrieval ensures the expansion of this service. In addition to the online indexes, several library networks and consortia, such as OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center, located in Columbus, Ohio, produce online databases. These are essentially equivalent to the catalogs of member libraries and can be used to determine which library owns a particular book or subscribes to a particular periodical.

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