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Introduction

Abstracts and abstracting have a long history and the issues involved are still the subject of much comment, debate and research. Despite their changing role in the digital world, abstracts remain popular, even in cases where the user has complete full-text access, because the proper use of abstracts shields the searcher from unacceptable levels of irrelevance that result from full-text searching. In the changing information environment of our century and the era of Web 2.0, abstracting can be considered a fixed point characterised by the constancy, persistence and continuity of its values, yet still subject to development.

Much has been written about abstracts and abstracting. Although there is a relatively large number of textbooks ...

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