A Short History of Scientific Information Services

A Short History of Scientific Information ServicesIn the following videos, the producer traces the history of scientific communication from verbal/in-person, to letters, and then to printed journals. The producer describes the work of ISI and the company’s founder, Eugene Garfield. Journals grew from a handful to thousands. This led to classification and indexing in order to find relevant journal articles via print. In the early 1960s, ISI digitized this indexing and classification system in order to aid in finding the required material. Only a small portion of literature is actually important enough to be cited often, thus, citation indexing was born.

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with citation indexing, and may be wondering why it is important — among many reasons…the founders of Google applied citation indexing to web links to create PageRank. They were not the first to apply citation indexing to web links, but they were among the first to figure out an entire business model around it by mining and selling the user generated data.)

This is one video that has been split into three parts for ease of viewing online. I found them interesting to watch. The videos were made, as far as I can tell, in the early 1970s, and they are infomercials for ISI. I have embedded the three parts below. I found the first one to be more fun to watch then the latter two. Those, however, are interesting from a recent-information-services-history perspective.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Thanks, L.S. for the links.

Please let me know what you think....