As said earlier in this book, abstracting is a series of small challenges that have to be faced no matter what. The challenges remain with us, despite the changing role that abstracts fulfil. From print indexes, then human-readable outputs of electronic databases, they have developed into computer-searchable surrogates of a substantial body of literature.

Abstracting has not lost its importance: it has a future. This is especially true in the case of author abstracts. In fact, there have never been predictions that they would eventually disappear. Abstracts written by professional abstractors – mainly information professionals who work under different names and have different duties – may well experience changes, but in their role ...

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