Developments in the electronic publishing of scientific material are proceeding apace, with publishers rushing to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the new media. Some publishers of journals and reference works that once were printed only on paper are hurrying to establish CD-ROM editions. Others are bypassing this step and heading straight to the World Wide Web (R. Finn, The Scientist, Oct. 16, 1995, page 16; F. Hoke, The Scientist, Sept. 19, 1994, page 17).

However, no one in the scientific publishing industry is quite sure how researchers will use this newly accessible wealth of information. Nor do they agree on the format that electronic publications will take, the distribution mechanisms that will be used, how to price their offerings, and other economic issues. Despite the confusion, scientific publishers are making available a number of electronic products that are of immediate use to scientists. And...


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