Q: What is the BIOSIS Digital Archive for Biological Abstracts and BIOSIS Previews?

A: These new backfiles contain the digitized content of the print Biological Abstracts volumes 1-49, 1926-1968. These volumes have been digitized and re-indexed to match current BIOSIS indexing. The bibliographic data (authors, titles, source data, abstracts) found in Archive records are presented largely as published in the original print volumes.

Q: Have the abstract numbers in the print volumes been preserved in the Archive, and are they searchable?

A: Yes, they have been preserved and are searchable. The abstract number, in combination with the year of BA publication and the BA volume number is the basis of the accession number in the digitized file. For example, accession number PREV19290300006236 is abstract number 6236 from BA Volume 3, published in 1929. Accession numbers have the prefix PREV in BIOSIS Previews or BACD in Biological Abstracts. They can be searched in the Identifying Codes field.

Q: Are there any differences that may affect my search strategy when searching the Archive in conjunction with the 1969+ file?

A: For the most part, searching all date segments is seamless, but there are several points that should be considered in your search strategy.

  • Source Titles - Journal titles in the Archive are in abbreviated format, while the 1969+ file uses the full format. You should 'OR' the abbreviated and full forms of a journal title for best results. The Source Index search aid on the General Search browse will let you browse for both the full and abbreviated titles.
  • Author Names - Author names in the Archives are provided as published in the original BA volume, in most cases as the full author name (last name, first name, middle initial). From 1969-1998, only last name and first and middle initials were captured. Beginning in 1998, full author names were captured, if provided in the source document. To get best results when searching across all date segment files, you should do a 'last name and first initial with truncation' search, for example, 'NADLER L*'.
  • Indexing - The Archive records contain indexing for the following BIOSIS term types:

    -Major Concepts

    -Concept Code

    -Taxonomic and Organism

    -Chemicals and Biochemicals


    -Parts, Structures & Systems of Organism

    -Geologic Time