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Subject: Information Research FAQ v.4.6 (Part 3/6)

This article was archived around: 06 Apr 2002 06:54:10 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: internet/info-research-faq
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Archive-name: internet/info-research-faq/part3 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: Feb 2001 URL: http://spireproject.com Copyright: (c) 2001 David Novak Maintainer: David Novak <david@spireproject.com>
Information Research FAQ (Part 3/6) 100 pages of search techniques, tactics and theory by David Novak of the Spire Project (SpireProject.com) Welcome. This FAQ addresses information literacy; the skills, tools and theory of information research. Particular attention is paid to the role of the internet as both a reservoir and gateway to information resources. The FAQ is written like a book, with a narrative and pictures. You have found your way to part three, so do backtrack to the beginning. If you are lost, this FAQ always resides as text at http://spireproject.com/faq.txt and http://spireproject.co.uk/faq.txt and with pictures at http://spireproject.com/faq.htm This FAQ is an element of the Spire Project, the primary free reference for information research and an important resource for search assistance. Do visit the assisting website http://spireproject.com and our All-in-one search page http://spireproject.com/spir.htm *** The Spire Project also delivers a 3 hour public seminar called *** Beyond Boolean: exceptional internet research. This is a *** fast paced demonstration supported with webbing, reaching beyond *** the ground covered on our website and FAQs. Please visit *** http://SpireProject.com/seminar.htm for synopsis and venues. *** Register you interest and we will try to come to your city. Enjoy, David Novak - david@spireproject.com The Spire Project : SpireProject.com and SpireProject.co.uk NOTE FOR RETURN READERS: previously, we prepared this section by converting work originally prepared in html. This became unproductive so we have limited the internet links in this FAQ and direct you to the more lengthy articles prepared in html. All the required links and search tool forms reside in other parts of the Spire Project, like the websites and free shareware (http://spireproject.com/spire_latest_version.zip). Information Venues Section 5 At the successful completion of his work in Nubia, Shakh was invited to travel to Babylon as the assistant to the new ambassador. It had been many years since Egyptians were in official contact with the residents of the two rivers. All trade had been conducted through the Phoenicians living along the Mediterranean coast. With these cities captured by the Assyrians, new trade links were needed. The journey took much longer than Shakh had expected. Leaving Egypt in a simple boat, it took many months to reach the shores of Lebanon, where the tall cedar trees grew. These trees, essential to crafting fine sea-worthy ships, was just one of the items sought by the Egyptians. Within two weeks of their arrival in the Assyrian capitol Nineveh, the Ambassador fell ill and died. Without guidance, 18 months journey from Egypt, Shakh stepped into the position. His first task was to gather information both of the officials best to approach, and of Egyptian goods most likely to interest the Assyrians. With few local contacts, Shakh set about building connections with other governments, dining with export officials, collecting information about how other governments had succeeded and failed in their trade requests with the Assyrians. Shakh knew success would depend on approaching the most practical of officials while delicately side-stepping the wishes of the officials who threatened, or felt threatened, by Egypt. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - While it may be practical to divide all information into a collection of formats, information is also organized by others for our benefit. Libraries, commercial databases, journals, information archives, each of these venues will assist you to find particular information. The information is already gathered together, classified and organized for your benefit. As a skilled researcher, you must be proficient in finding information from these resources. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - United Nations Information links and more at http://spireproject.com/un.htm "The United Nations is involved in every aspect of international life - from peace-keeping to the environment, from children's rights to air safety. ... The UN system generates an enormous amount of information on some of the most pressing issues the world faces ... press releases, video and photographic footage, publications, briefing papers, etc." Samir Sanbar, A Guide to Information at the United Nations. United Nations documents are a recognized authority for any number of international issues: social, legal and political. You certainly will not be chastised for quoting United Nations statistics. Critical to research, the UN is a collection of almost autonomous organizations (called organs) with occasionally overlapping responsibilities, distinct websites, and recorded as distinct publishers. As you approach UN information, remember this is not a monolithic organization with clearly defined roles. All drug efforts are not coordinated by the UNDCP and all statistical work is not undertaken by the UN Statistical Division. UN Internet Resources The UN website at www.un.org is just one entry point to UN information. Of note, it contains a searchable archive of UN press releases stretching back to 1995, 7 days of press briefings, an archive section and information about UN publications. The real tool to use is UNIONS (http://www3.itu.int/unions/search.cgi), a meta-search engine for many of the larger UN organ websites. UN Library Resources The UN is an accomplished publisher, through their sales lists is not particularly large. It is just that anything they do publish is of a very high standard. Many documents are generated by the numerous meetings and efforts, so there is a second style of publishing, called Masthead or UNDoc documents, that are usually just photocopies. UNDoc are found in a collection of UN depository libraries around the world. (There is a good list at http://www.un.org/MoreInfo/Deplib/). Thus we have the UNDoc primary source documents and UN Sales Documents, given a sales document number and sold and shelved in libraries as books. S/1997/742/Add.1, Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara: a brief breakdown of the estimated costs for completing the voter identification process in Western Sahara. Other documents have wider appeal... E.96.I.5, The United Nations and the International Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda - UN Blue Book Series S/1997/742/Add.1, Abortion Policies: A Global Review, Population studies No. 129: A three volume, 650 page country-by-country look at abortion. You can use the US Library of Congress Online Catalogue for a good approximate search of UN Sales documents. A search of UNDoc documents requires one of three comprehensive databases, like UN-Bis Plus, though you can also get the numbers to specific documents through UN periodicals like the Yearbook of the United Nations and the United Nations Chronicle. With 300+ shelves of UN documents at depository libraries, the UNDoc files are excellent records to history. The UNDoc Current Index (ceased publication in 1996) is an extensive quarterly directory (of the non-cumulative kind) just for this purpose. Further tools are available to help the dedicated searcher, like focused indexes and an annual list of current sales documents (also online). Trouble with Age United Nations publications do suffer time lags. The best documents appear well after the curve of public interest. Primary UNDOC documents will take up to 6 months before becoming available at a UN depository library and the Sales Documents are compiled after this. On the positive side, UN archives frequently extend back to the 1950s. Information Theory The UN has existed since the 1950s. The systems established to manage and distribute access to UN publications is at once both highly sophisticated and out-of-date. It is truly amazing to see 300 shelves of UN documents (a very big room mainly filled with stapled photocopies). At the same time, it is only a matter of time before the whole concept of UN depository library is translated online. There is such potential savings (there are 359 depository libraries in the world but the UN pays for one in each country) and such an improvement in access. All the links and a few of the forms for searching UN information reside at http://spireproject.com/un.htm ___________________________________________________ Government Information links and more at http://spireproject.com/gov.htm We pay a high price in both direct and indirect taxes for our government. These are intelligent people, paid to be informed. Government experts and documents are thus generally detailed, factual and reliable ... and helpful. It should not surprise you that government documents have a high quality, tend to have a little problem with time. Central to finding government information on the web is the way the clear organizational structure is replicated online. Each country will have a primary website with links to the websites of each national government department. Each state will have a primary website with links to the websites of each state government department. Each department website will link to all sub-departments. If you wanted to see the website for the New Zealand statistical agency, just visit the New Zealand government website, then look for the statistical agency. If you wanted to see the website for the Mississippi government agency responsible for childcare, just visit the US government website, find Mississippi, then look for an agency that might be responsible for the family, then keep clicking till you find the page you need. With a little more maturity, many corporate website were redesigned to present answers as they are needed by the visitors - instead of having marketing, accounting and distribution directories, websites were rearranged to have sections for customer sales, investor relations and distributor relations. Government website have begun the transformation too, with websites serving the perceived needs of visitors. Clever sites will present both structures but some will have an alternative structure linking you through to the agency website. * There are two fine internet directories of international government websites, one by the University of Michigan Documents Center, another by the University of Southern California. * There is a specialized, government-only webpage search engine called GovBot as developed by The Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR). Altavista and All-the-Web also let you restrict a large global search to a specific domain. This allows you to search just for .gov sites. * Government Publications are effectively organized in a national publication database. The US MOCAT database (Monthly Catalog of US Government Publications), the Australian AGIP (Australian Government Index of Publications (AGIP) and the United Kingdom Stationery Office publications list are all free online. For information not available, many nations permit Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. This essentially forces government agencies to release information they can not justify keeping secret. FOI requests may cost you a token fee (and is often less for members of the media). The Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) maintains a good FOI archive (http://www.eff.org/Activism/FOIA/), as does the Society of Professional Journalists (http://spj.org/foia/index.htm). ___________________________________________________ Commercial Databases links and more at http://spireproject.com/database.htm Commercial databases are simply collections of information presented electronically. Databases range in size from simple books made searchable, to several billion records in the larger news databases. The retail database industry is obscure. Costs are highly variable and difficult to determine in advance. Products with the same name may contain different information. Databases are frequently combined into larger collections of databases, (also called databases,) often several times, so an individual magazine or database may exist within several databases and several collections. Within this confusion are a collection of definitive, must-search databases. Definitive databases are determined by successful marketing. Not necessarily the 'best', nor most useful, but the market-successful become definitive resources. From there, success breeds further value. Such databases will be invaluable in your search for answers. More discussion on the database industry can be found in section 9 of this FAQ. Free Databases At the edge of the database industry are a number of prominent databases that have emerged as free databases, delivered over the internet directly from their source. Look briefly at some of these databases: * ERIC, (Education Resources Information Center) is presented by the [US] National Library of Education. Established in 1966, ERIC is one of the cornerstone databases for the education field and provides citations & abstracts to education-related literature. * CRIS, (Current Research Information System) is produced by the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) and includes Canadian, USDA, and Czech agriculture, food and forestry research. Projects sponsored by these or affiliated agencies are included * Agricola is produced by the [US] National Agricultural Library and its cooperators. This is an important bibliographic database covering agriculture and all the related disciplines (including forestry & agri-business & alternative agriculture). Started in 1970, this has become an important database limited only by its bibliographic nature. * Thomas, presented by the [US] Library of Congress, delivers US legislative information (including Congress, Representatives, Senate & the many committee reports). * EDGAR, produced by the (US) Securities and Exchange Commission, delivers all public US company submissions as required by law. The information is factual and numerical - and includes both current and past submissions. * MOCAT, UKOP and AGIP are the US, UK and Australian government publication databases * The Library of Congress, The British Library, and The National Library of Australia card catalogues can be searched online. * Medline is produced by the [US] National Library of Medicine and delivers references to all areas of medicine (including nursing, dentistry, nutrition), with some abstracts. * The United States Department of Energy (DOE) publishes The DOE Information Bridge, a database with full-text and bibliographic records of DOE-sponsored research and development. Covers research projects in energy sciences and technology. * BIOGRAPHY(r) Online is published at www.biography.com and includes 15000+ biographical abstracts - but most are really really short. For more free bibliographic databases, I strongly suggest you read Bases de données gratuites (http://urfist.univ-lyon1.fr/gratuits.html) by Jean-Pierre Lardy. This directory has over 200 entries! Use the Altavista Babelfish to have a look at it. All Databases Gale Research produces the Gale Directory of Databases (in 2 volumes). This is the definitive listing of databases in the world, for the moment. Most large libraries will have a copy. New editions are released every 6 months. There are also smaller, more focused directories like Fulltext Sources Online published by Information Today or The Directory of Australian and New Zealand Databases by the Australian Database Development Association (ADDA). Database Industry You will access commercial databases through one of five basic sources. 1_ From a Commercial Database Retailer, 2_ From alternatively funded (free) internet sources, 3_ Through a Library or other venue with a site license, 4_ With the help of an Information Professional (searching for you), 5_ Directly from the source with a personal subscription. Consider the Commercial Database Retailer as the department store of the information market. The industry is dominated by a handful of dedicated retailers like The Dialog Corporation, Lexis-Nexis, and InfoMart. Other retailers focus on certain types of databases. Retailers select the databases they carry, and enjoy mark-ups in the region of 300% to 400% from which they provide customer service, support and promotion. So very much service and promotion is provided that these retail giants hold a pivotal role in the distribution of commercial databases. The most important selection tool for databases is the database description. These are factual, accurate descriptions of what each database includes and how they can be searched. Many of the database descriptions are online. To facilitate finding these, we have added links here and in other articles. Further descriptions may be available from retailer websites. A list of database retailers follow. * The Dialog Corporation (http://www.dialog.com), a merger of Dialog, Datastar and M.A.I.D. The largest database retailer by far, the databases are general. * Lexis-Nexis especially carries full text and legal research databases. * Questel/Orbit specializes in patent and technical science databases * EINS (European Information Network Services) appears offer discount access to technical databases. * Infomart Dialog (Canada) has Canadian coverage with many of the Dialog databases. * FT Profile is the information wing of Financial Times (UK). There are further database retailers specifically focused on the library market like OCLC's FirstSearch. Further databases are focused on business needs, like DowJones and Dun & Bradstreet. In addition, there are always the individual databases which undertake the difficult task of retailing by themselves. Conclusion Databases are complex structures based on the inverted index and on a range of search technologies including Boolean terms, truncation, complex limits, descriptors, filters, ranking and more. Certainly the technology is becoming easier to use (look at the Reuters Business Briefing for state of the art), but there is still much to learn. An experienced searcher will locate far better results than a novice. However, an uninvolved searcher has a handicap, both in price and language. Sometimes it is wise to get help searching a database, sometimes it is not. The commercial database industry is shifting to use the internet as the preferred delivery vehicle. Considerable changes are coming too - not the least a tumble in the price of information. Another change is a move towards full text databases. Some databases include only bibliographic information, many provide abstracts, but only a small fraction include full text. This will frustrate you deeply as full text databases are so very very convenient. Researching databases is incredibly difficult and cumbersome. They challenge the mind, stretch far beyond the simple skills of searching the internet, and since every minute is expensive, there is much added pressure. But this is a skill like any other. Practice with the databases of your local research university at an off-peak time (mornings are good) and using the CD-ROM versions - learn on something free and not 2$ a minute. A database is a collection of anything - meaning a database blissfully passes on the chaos for us to deal with rather than presenting a more logical/understandable front like the web (humour intended). This character has also blurred the contours of a database. Most small databases are merely digested versions of small books and directories, often made available to you at 50 cents a page. Of course, large databases are just hard to conceive, let alone describe. Word-searchable libraries? World knowledge snapshots? Commercial information marketing firms go further and group similar databases together into massive multi-database topic searches with phenomenal power. A Myriad of Databases A primary difficulty comes from the sheer number of databases in existence today. To get a feel for the size of this industry, stop by a large library and ask for the Gale Directory of Databases Volume 1: the partially definitive listing of global databases. The absolute number will astound you. This also explains why some of us are so excited about internet development. Just making the existing databases more easily available will transform our society. The Information age is just starting. Database Quality All research is guided by the resources at hand. Most amateur researchers suffer because they have very few resources at hand (or think they do). Research is also guided by the budget, the time and perhaps the skill. When selecting research databases, try to be aware of three further factors: Coverage Research here is easiest on Australian, British and American resources. This may be unfortunate or of little consequence, but does bear consideration. Many large databases are also large only because of their range of information. Which is better, searching 6000 magazines or 600 business magazines. Depends on the research topic. Definitive There are many databases which can claim definitive coverage but there are many more which should be kept in reserve. Just like the internet, a researcher is not expected to look at everything relevant, just enough to get to the solution. Size Global Textline was a database of phenomenal size, indexing text from over a hundred newspapers globally, reaching back many years. Australian Education Index (AEI) includes the contents of a small book of Education related theses abstracts. Each topic may only include 10 relevant theses over 5 years. Size is a thus linked to database value. Searching Global Textline will always turn up leads. AEI will not. Selecting a Database Despite the factual nature of information research, word of mouth appears to be tremendously important in choosing databases. Some guides do describe the quality of various databases, and make valuable suggestions, but such guides also age rapidly as new products emerge. A rough understanding may emerge with practice. Our advice appears in other articles. ___________________________________________________ Discussion Groups links and more at http://spireproject.com/discuss.htm Mailing Lists, Newsgroups, Associations - each are focal points of discussion, exchange of information and professional development. Sometimes called Special Interest Groups (SIGs), these are the original sources of many fine research resources. Brilliant research sites in their own right, a mailing list, newsgroup or association can also be a fine contact point for experts, or the site of focused, specialized libraries. The copyright mailing list is a group of more than 100 lawyers who focus on copyright. This list, and their Copyright FAQ, are the best resources on copyright law in the world; current, factual, and peer-reviewed. This is not unusual for a mailing list. As a source of experts, I once found an accomplished but poorly published scientist from an old message in a mailing list archive. Having said this, discussion groups are not organized for casual searching. Even when discussion is archived and searchable, finding and searching past discussion tends to be difficult. There is more to this resource than just asking a question but the other options are not simple. Mailing Lists * Tile.Net/Lists (http://tile.net/lists/) has a fine index of mailing lists. * Liszt is the second place to look. * The Directory of Scholarly and Professional E-Conferences, known also as the Kovacs Lists is third. * subject guides listed in the Argus Clearinghouse also refer to relevant mailing lists. Search several list directories for more rewarding results. Also keep in mind some lists have too little or too much traffic for your purpose. Find a list with a manageable number of messages and a wide enough membership. This takes a little effort in interrogating the list management software for the number of forum members, a look at past discussion, perhaps a look for supporting websites. Newsgroups If you have a newsgroup reader, you have a file called news.rc on your computer which lists all the available on your computer. List.com also has a searchable list of newsgroups. Duke University can help you find additional newsgroups that exist but require you to ask your ISP to bring in. A more effective approach is to undertake a search of past newsgroup posts and select from the response a list of likely newsgroups to consider. Altavista allows searches of recent newsgroup messages. Deja.com has an even larger archive (to before March '95). Another option is to search for an FAQ (like this one). Most summarize past discussion on successful newsgroups. The FAQ may be a brilliant informative document in itself, or the definitive pointer to further tools and resources. By virtue of its public origin, FAQs are far more likely to attract the peer review often very lacking from other resources. They are also open invitations to communicate with the knowledgeable FAQ maintainers. * FAQs can be searched by title by sites like Oxford University and Universiteit Utrecht (Netherlands), or if you know a newsgroup, visit an html FAQ archive like the one at http://www.faqs.org Associations Associations are more involved than their internet companion. Associations are also more into paper publishing, conferencing and collating specialist statistics. As an example, the Australian Booksellers Association publishes the best benchmark statistics on this topic. When approaching an association, consider asking for their publications list. Directory of Associations are national directories. The [US] Encyclopedia of Associations is produced by Gale Research. The Directory of Australian Associations is the definitive Australian source. Directory of Associations in Canada. Directory of Association of Asia. Some association directories have emerged online, like Directory of the American Society of Association Executives. Unfortunately, the database is small & Americanocentric. A search for 'book' did get me the address of the American Booksellers Association, but not others. Of course if you have a name, you could also use a meta-search engine like Debriefing. Alternatively, the Library of Congress Online Catalogue allows us to search for association as an author. Conclusions There are three important research applications for mailing lists.1) Research through past discussion, 2) Directly ask members for assistance, 3) Become a participative member to pick up and exchange information. On a personal side, mailing lists are easy to use and a minimal investment in time (the information comes to you). However, mailing lists are difficult to develop and maintain. Few reach the potential brilliance of this form of communication, so many of the forums you come across will be non-existent or on their death-bed. Mailing lists depend on four vital ingredients - Content, Participation, IT-support, and Management. Often, one of these go wrong and the forum dies. As a member, there are important obligations starting with participation, and ending with forum etiquette. The better forums are private. Membership is not automatic, the list manager has more control, and often, more control and effort is expended developing interesting content and discussion. If you find a closed or private forum, persevere. Associations When a group of like-minded individuals come together to achieve an aim, they often create an association. What better place to research. Even better, associations often interpret their purpose as a place to pool and distribute information. Larger associations often maintain a small library of their own and many associations publish documents about their area of interest. Furthermore, if you are seeking an expert in a given field, associations are sure to have one, or two, or many. For the smaller associations, be polite but firm in describing your interest and be ready to buy whatever small book they do publish in your quest for further information. The FAQ An FAQ is created to enhance the discussion of a newsgroup. After a time, the initial members of a newsgroup would have discussed many of the standard topics to death, which newcomers will still find interesting. To prevent only discussing introductory topics (and annoying long-term members) an FAQ is created to record answers to standard questions. Because one of the primary functions of a special interest group is resource discovery - and because FAQs are collectively created, they are valuable and generally reliable. I consider the Official Copyright FAQ the best document in the world on copyright law. As an aside, many FAQs are also available as web pages. Trouble is, without an system to vet true newsgroup FAQs, you are far more likely to encounter FAQs which have not been vetted by the news.answers team. The Official Copyright FAQ is 70+ pages of topical and factual detail with links to further information. There are several other copyright FAQs with less than 10 pages, (and not particularly concerned with providing information). Access an established FAQ archive for your FAQs. www.faqs.org has a small list (http://www.faqs.org/#FAQHTML). Another longer list resides midway down this document (http://www.faqs.org/faqs/news-answers/introduction). Special interest groups are problematic because the task of preparing and presenting guidance is secondary to their main aims. Those that do actively publish do so through books (with the association as the author) or articles or newsprint... Sometimes, as in mailing lists, almost as an afterthought, past discussion is indexed and searchable. This situation is not likely to change. Technology could potentially aggregate past discussion from many mailing lists, but too much commercialism would swiftly kill open discussion. Then again, existing efforts like the archive of the business librarians list have taken a very proprietary view of messages within their discussion. Notice also that a database of newsletters failed commercially a few years back for lack of interest. No dramatic improvements are likely to emerge from this direction. ___________________________________________________ The Library links and more at http://spireproject.com/library.htm Libraries are integral parts to the research process if for no other reason than public funds are used to buy the expensive research tools you will occasionally use. More and more libraries are extending their reference collections to include CD-ROMs and computer resources. Specialty libraries are special. Focus allows for far greater expertise and innovative research resources. Specialty libraries are prime research venues, and specialty librarians are considerable reservoirs of research expertise. All government agencies, and many large corporations & wealthy associations, have specialty libraries. While many may not invite public access, almost all are universally open to you. * Very large libraries, by virtue of their sheer size, become important research resources. This would include the US Library of Congress, the British Library, the [UK] COPAC unified library catalogue, the National Library of Australia, and the National Library of Canada. * To find a specific library websites, visit either Libweb (http://sunsite.Berkeley.edu/Libweb/ ) or Libdex (http://www.libdex.com) or a few other link sites. * A directory of specialist libraries will direct you to the highly focused libraries found within corporate, association or government organizations. An Australian directory exists online. The Directory of Special Libraries in Australia by ALIA is the definitive source. American Library Directory is a commercial database and probably a print directory too. Note: All these libraries will probably let you access information - if you come asking kindly with specific information in mind. Always ask how you would gain access, and assume access is possible (though not policy). There are also a collection of mixed information directories which are research-worthy. Croner's A-Z of [UK] Business Information Sources and the Aslib Directory of Information Sources in the United Kingdom are prominent examples. These directories appear to be less than definitive but the ASLIB Directory (the larger of the two at 1500+ pages) is certainly something to behold. Aslib, under the subject "Egypt" lists the British Museum, the Egypt Exploration Society, the Tutankhamun Exhibition, and the York College of Further & Higher Education - all with really good contact details. ___________________________________________________ Zines, Magazines & Journals links and more at http://spireproject.com/period.htm Zines, Magazines, Journals and Newsletters; each incorporate the valuable services of quality control, editorial input, and focus. Newsprint, though similar in concept, is best dealt with separately. The trouble with using periodicals in research is their unfocussed view of the world. Reading through a topical periodical is such a passive approach to finding information. The information is likely to be interesting, but hardly likely to answer your questions. At best, you are 'keeping up-to-date' in your field. The solution to this is the database search of either full-text or bibliographic/abstract information from a great many periodicals. Before we reach for the database search, let us run through the ways to find periodicals. * Zines are listed in three primary online directories: John Labovitz's E-Zine-list, the NewJour mailing list, the ARL Directory of Electronic Journals, and by browsing some of the university zine collections. * Print periodicals are listed in three primary directories: Ulrich's International Periodical Directory, EBSCO's Serial Directory, and Newsletters in Print, and by browsing the periodical collections of primary libraries like the Library of Congress. * A few further online lists of periodicals exist like one for US magazines and another for Australian Magazines. Since periodicals are a passive form of research, a search for promising periodicals is not the usual way of doing a search. Organizations will often subscribe to promising periodicals then circulate them among interested parties, facilitating the passive collection of information. The directories above represent one way to find promising periodicals. A better way is to search the databases for promising articles, then paying attention to promising periodicals which appear frequently. ___________________________________________________ This document continues as Part 4/6 ___________________________________________________ Copyright (c) 1998-2001 by David Novak, all rights reserved. This FAQ may be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, website, or BBS as long as it is posted unaltered in its entirety including this copyright statement. This FAQ may not be included in commercial collections or compilations without express permission from the author. Please send permission requests to david@spireproject.com