Baron-Forness Library
200 Tartan Drive
Edinboro, PA 16444
(814) 732-2273

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Comparing printed to electronic indexes

Comparing Printed to Electronic Indexes
Contact: Prof. Monty L. McAdoo, User Education Librarian (Room 231), 814-732-1070

Over the past few years, we have evolved most of our printed indexes to electronic forms of such. This page provides a brief overview of the relative strengths and weaknesses of printed versus electronic indexes. As always, if you have questions about a particular resource, please contact one of the librarians at the Information Desk (814-732-2253). 

A comparison of printed versus electronic indexes


-- Browsability
-- Greater coverage, sometimes even of the 1800s
-- No computer knowledge necessary
-- Not computer-dependent for access
-- Must do own cross-referencing
-- May have to browse several volumes/dates
-- Must be in library to use
-- No full text available
-- Must photocopy and/or write information
-- Computer does cross-referencing
-- Access from home
-- Some have full text
-- Can print, save, and/or email citations
-- Network may go down -- Indexing generally begins late 1980s or even 1990s
-- Requires some technical savvy to use effectively

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