Medical research increases continuously, journals proliferate, and information multiplies. But unless all this information is made available it serves no function. The Index Medicus is a key that unlocks the wealth of knowledge and enables physicians and researchers to find out what has been going on all over the world.
Publishing the Index Medicus is a stupendous undertaking, with approximately 5,000 journals indexed in monthly installments. These monthly issues are cumulated annually. For the year 1968 the cumulation required five thick quartos, totalling 8,924 pages occupying some 20 1/2 inches of shelf space. In contrast, in 1960, the first year of the present format, there were only three volumes, taking up 8 1/2 inches and aggregating less than 3,800 pages. At the present time each monthly installment comprises over 1,000 pages.
As the Index gets larger, the effort involved in using it increases proportionately. But for many purposes an exhaustive