It was Derek De Solla Price who in 1963 said that "80 to 90 percent of all the scientists that have ever lived are alive now."1 While De Solla died just 20 years later, most of his contemporaries have survived. A majority of these researchers were, at one time or another, readers of Current Contents (CC).

The success of CC was due to three critical factors--timeliness, its multidisciplinary nature, and access to author addresses. Its address directory was estimated at one time to generate as many as 15 million reprint requests per year.2 The large-scale exchange of reprints has become an almost bygone culture. Widely available document delivery mechanisms and increasingly, the World Wide Web, have displaced routine requests for reprints. Nevertheless, many of us still enjoy the convenience of the reprint, and when possible, the pleasure of a note and autograph by the author.3


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