The important consideration in the matter of presentation of entries in indexing and abstracting periodicals is of maintaining uniformity and consistency in rendering the bibliographical description throughout. For each document sufficient and adequate bibliographical description is given for easy identification and location. The minimum details required for the purpose are author(s), title and locus (source from where the document has appeared). The indexing and abstracting periodicals usually follow established standards for the purpose.
A few additional details which the indexing and abstracting periodicals have found it worthwhile to include are: name of the institution where the work reported upon has been done, address of authors, translated title and the language of the original document. Some services provide class number to the entries according to the chosen scheme of classification. The entries bear a running serial number which also serves as index number. It is obvious that abstracts are an additional feature of abstracting periodicals. In the presentation of abstracts also, standard practices are followed. There are different types of abstracts such as indicative, informative and detailed abstracts. What type of abstract is given is a matter of editorial policy.
Two most common methods of arrangement of entries in Indexing and abstracting periodicals are grouping the entries according to broad subjects ad within them by author or chronological order and backed up by a table of content and several indexes as well as by alphabetical subject headings. In few cases, a classified arrangement maybe followed. In current updated lists, there are many ways of presenting and arranging the entries. They are not to be mistaken as necessarily relevant to the purpose of indexing periodicals.
Some indexing periodicals, especially those that follow the arrangement of subject headings, cumulate the entries from issue to issue to make up an annual volume or for two or more years. The provision of various types of indexes enhances the retrieval efficiency of indexing and abstracting periodicals. Considerable care and attention are, thus, paid to the preparation of indexes. The most common kinds are : author and subject or key word indexes. Some may provide title index as well. Specialised indexes, such as patent index, formula index, ring index, taxonomic index and geographical index are provided in few periodicals. They have particular purpose and value in retrieving information. Indexes are provided in each issue and are also cumulated volume/year-wise: Major services such as the Chemical Abstracts have cumulated indexes for multi-volumes.
A few other helpful features of Indexing and Abstracting periodicals are detailed contents page, list of journals covered, list of standard abbreviations used and explanatory note on how to use and find out from the periodicals. Some producers of indexing and abstracting periodicals such as Psychological Abstracts may offer photocopying service for the items covered, an indication of which will be found in the preliminary pages.
The periodicity of the indexing and abstracting periodicals is mostly dependent upon the volume of literature that would be available for coverage in a year. For example, CA is published every week with cycle whereas Indian Science Abstracts is published fortnightly.