Secondary Periodicals Secondary periodicals are abstracting and indexing periodicals. They are also called documentation periodicals. They are a systematic listing of materials which help to identify and trace those materials. Indexes to contents of journals are the most frequently used secondary periodicals. In the field of library literature, Library and Information Science Abstracts and Information Abstracts are useful secondary periodicals.
Abstracting and Indexing services began as an offshoot of professional and learned associations. The first abstracting journal came up in 1778 namely Chemisches Journal fur die freundle der naturiehre. English language abstracts were first published in 1871, in the Journal of the Chemical Society. In 1895, when Physical Society, London, commenced publication of Abstract of Physical papers from foreign sources. In 1989, the Institution of Electrical Engineers started publishing Physics abstracts as apart of Science Abstracts. Today, these form a part of INSPEC services. In the USA, Engineering Index emerged in 1884, (now known as Compendex services). Around 1907, the Chemical Abstracts began its services from the American Chemical Society. Several directories of Abstracting and Indexing services have emerged. The Abstracting and Indexing Services Directory, edition 11982, edited by John Schmitroth Jr, of Gale Research Company lists around 2500 abstracting and indexing services throughout the world. An increasing number of these services are today available on machine-readable data-bases and easily accessible to users on online computer networks.
Abstracting and indexing services provide a means for reading, assimilating much of technical communication published in the world today. The application of information technology is high in the abstracting and indexing services. It provides a mechanism through which a systematisation of knowledge is done on a continuous basis and at the same time provides for a multi-pronged approach to information.