Chemists who are contemplating career alternatives in today's highly competitive job market might want to consider an emerging specialty: chemical information. Information professionals perform a wide variety of tasks, including library research, patent research, marketing research, preparation of customer service materials, acquisition of books and journals for libraries, and updates of electronic research systems.

As computer networks, online databases, and various types of document delivery systems become more actively used by researchers, the need for knowledgeable and competent scientists to perform abstracting and indexing services will increase, according to the National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services (NFAIS), based in Philadelphia.

Abstracts are the concise, generally noncritical summaries at the beginning of documents. Indexes are lists of a document's contents organized by key words or phrases.

A new book, Guide to Careers in Abstracting and Indexing (Philadelphia, NFAIS, 1992), points out: "In the 1990s, A&I [abstracting and indexing] services have...

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