Document (#8581)

Author
Stratton, B.
Title
¬The transiency of CD-ROM? : A reappraisal for the 1990s
Source
Journal of librarianship and information science. 26(1994) no.3, S.157-164
Year
1994
Abstract
In an earlier article, Tony McSean and Derek Law questioned the merits of CD-ROM as a technology and suggested that CD-ROM is likely to be supplanted by future technologies (Library Association Record 92(1990) no.11, S.837-838,841). Reexamines the hypothesis in light of subsequent developments. Compares CD-ROM with online information retrieval noting in the case of CD-ROM databases: lack of telecommunication costs; need for better training; poorer currency; relative search costs. The poorer currency of CD-ROM may be solved by providing complementary online and CD-ROM services. Discusses the provision of parallel printed and CD-ROM versions (and in the case of some databases such as LISA online versions as well), networking issues, and the impact of CD-ROM on printed products possibly leading to the extinction of printed services with catastrophic effects on the printing industry and for people without the means of sccessing CD-ROM databases. McSean and Law failed to predict the revolution in personal computers and to appreciate the effect of networking capabilities. The perceived problem of CD-ROM disc capacity and low retrieval speeds still remain for very large databases. Considers current applications of CD-ROM for electronic libraries and for document and database delivery, particularly over networks such as JANET. Concludes that McSean and Law's assertion that CD-ROM is a transient technology is quite correct in that all information technology has proved to be transient. However, CD-ROM has proved useful attractive alternative to online databases. CD-ROM may bring about its own demise as a storage medium simply because it is efficacious as a delivery medium and if transferred to magnetic media the databases are more efficiently and speedily accessible and more easily networked in local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs), or nationally as in the BIDS service over JANET

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