Coverage: In order to fulfill the functions enumerated above (see 4.2.2), the I & A periodicals must, as far as possible, be comprehensive in reporting the literature so that they can be relied upon as an exhaustive source of information. It is necessary, at least, to specify and maintain consistency in the scope and criteria of coverage so as to ensure the user as to what to expect.
Time lag: The indexing and abstracting periodicals should report literature with as little time lag as possible after publication of the original so that the most recent and current information is made available to the users.
Indexes: The indexing and abstracting periodicals should have high retrieval efficiency through provision of quality indexes. The search should yield optimum recall and relevance of desired information.
The Bibliographic description: The citation should be accurate and according to established standard practices. The abstract must be of a very high quality in scientific and textual presentation.
Ease in consultation: The indexing and abstracting periodicals should be easy, convenient and quick to consult. Due attention should be paid to the presentation and arrangement of entries as well as their physical production.
Having discussed the need and functions of I & A periodicals, and their required qualities, we shall now describe how the I & A periodicals achieve their objectives through their presentation and other features.