The problem with full text today is that there's too much of it. Search engines claim to return millions of results to simple queries. Full text could mean a 10,000-word scholarly article, a corporate annual report filled with numeric data, a patent with diagrams, a blog post of any length, or a 140-character tweet. For some years, popular wisdom held that abstracts were anachronistic, no longer needed given the advances in search technology. Now people are seeing a revival in interest in abstracts. Abstracts are one antidote to information overload. Indexing is another. Major information aggregators -- EBSCO, Factiva, LexisNexis, ProQuest -- have invested significant resources in their indexing and taxonomies.
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