We recently had the opportunity to evaluate The Serials Directory, Ebsco's CD-ROM version of its popular print publication. Of course, our first criterion was completeness. We looked up 30 relatively obscure titles, including ten foreign, five newly introduced, and five ceased titles. We found all of them--not too surprising since the publisher claims that there are nearly 120,000 entries, including 7,000 ceased titles.
Every entry includes title, main entry, series statement, variant title, dates of publication and volume information, ISSN, language, frequency, price, address, telephone and fax numbers, indexing and abstracting information, classification numbers, index availability, circulation, and a general description among other things. The unique features which are particularly appealing are NLM classification numbers and availability r through subscription agencies. A single CD includes all of the text of the three volume, 4,000-page hardcopy edition of The Serials Directory. Among the commonly sought access points are title, subject, ISSN, variant forms of the title, main entry, and ISSN. There are a total of 23 search types and qualifiers. Boolean operators can be used. It is possible to use any words or phrases in searches and to browse the subject authority list. There is a comprehensive online "help" facility.
The Directory was published in early 1989 and comes with three quarterly updates for a total price of $495, as compared with $289 for the hardcopy edition. Libraries that already have the necessary equipment can recover the difference in cost in reduced look-up time.
The required equipment includes an IBM-XT or clone with 640KB of memory and a 10MB hard disk drive, a CD-ROM player, and MS-DOS CD-ROM extensions. The PC must support MS-DOS 3.2 or higher. The search software is included on the CD-ROM.
[Contact: Ebsco Publishing, P.O. Box 1943, Birmingham, AL 35201.]