THE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL REPORTS

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb026102
Publication Date01 February 1947
Pages3-8
Date01 February 1947
AuthorLAWRENCE S. THOMPSON
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
THE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SCIENTIFIC AND
INDUSTRIAL REPORTS
by LAWRENCE S. THOMPSON
Head
Librarian,
Western Michigan College Library
(formerly chief of Bibliography
Section,
Library Division,
Office
of the
Publication Board)
AFTER the European War came to an end it became apparent that there were
literally hundreds of thousands of scientific research documents which had
been written both by Allied and by Axis scientists but which had never been
generally circulated due to their confidential character. On 12 June 1945
President Harry Truman issued an executive order charging the Office of
the Publication Board, U.S. Department of Commerce, with dissemination
of this information.
Four sections were set up within the Library Division of the Board,
viz. Acquisitions, Bibliography, Cataloguing, and Reference Services. The
Acquisitions Section receives captured enemy documents and 'declassified'
(i.e.
no longer confidential) Allied documents, assigns serial 'PB' (Publication
Board) numbers as a means of positive identification, and gives the docu-
ments their initial descriptive cataloguing for purposes of entry in the Biblio-
graphy of
scientific
and industrial reports.
This publication, a weekly 80-page bibliography, containing approxi-
mately 800 separate items in each issue, is the medium through which the
documents processed by the Library Division are brought to the attention of
science and industry. It contains, in classified arrangement, bibliographical
descriptions of the documents, the prices at which films or photostats may be
purchased from the Board, and abstracts similar to those found in the standard
scientific abstracting journals. The bibliography is distributed to all libraries
which have been designated as depositories for Federal documents, to govern-
ment agencies and scientific societies, and to about 3,000 subscribers. The
price of a year's subscription (which should be entered with the U.S. Super-
intendent of Documents in Washington) is 10 dollars.
The responsibility for the preparation and publication of the bibliography
rests with the Bibliography Section, also referred to as the Abstracting
Section. The primary consideration in the organization of this section was
the flow of incoming material, its subject-matter, and the languages in
which it is written. Due to the uncertainty of post-war developments, it
has been necessary to maintain the Abstracting Section in a flexible condition
so that it could be adapted to any new conditions that might arise.
After a few months of operation it was determined that the most con-
venient work tempo would be to handle about a thousand documents per
week, and appropriate arrangements were made to assure that this number
would pass through each of the processes which will be described below.
It has developed that the majority of the documents to be handled will be

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