6.4. Electronic Journals
Most of the major astronomical journals are now available over the Internet. While they tended to be freely available for a test period of one to two years, most of them now ask a license which can be obtained for free only if the host institute of the user is subscribed to the printed version. Nevertheless, for most journals the tables of contents are accessible on the WWW for free (see Section 6.5). A very useful compilation of links to electronic journals and other bibliographical services is provided at www.ucm.es/info/Astrof/biblio.html.
Under the ``AAS Electronic Journal Project'' (www.aas.org/Epubs/eapjl/eapjl.html; cf. [Boyce (1997)]) the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) had been made available electronically since 1996 (www.journals.uchicago.edu/ApJ/journal). As of April 1997, access to the full text of the ApJ Electronic Edition is available only to institutional and individual subscribers. What you can do without subscribing, is to browse the contents pages of even the latest issues. The policy of AAS is to sell a license for the whole set of both back and current issues. Licensees will have to keep paying in order to see any issues of the journal. In return AAS will continue to maintain electronic links between references, a facility which the database of scanned back journals at the ADS article service does not offer.
The electronic Astronomical Journal (www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJ/journal) came on-line in January 1998. Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) and its Supplement Series (A&AS) are available at link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00230/tocs.htm, and at www.edpsciences.com/docinfos/AAS/OnlineAAS.html, respectively. Abstracts of both journals can be viewed at cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html.
The journal New Astronomy, initially designed to appear electronic-only released its first issue in September 1996 (see www.elsevier.nl/locate/newast). One may subscribe to a service alerting about new articles appearing in New Astronomy by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Subj: subscribe newast-c.
Several other journals are available electronically, e.g. the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (PASP; www.journals.uchicago.edu/PASP/journal); the Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA) has started an experimental web server, beginning from Vol. 14(1997), at www.atnf.csiro.au/pasa; Pis'ma Astronomicheskii Zhurnal offers English abstracts at hea.iki.rssi.ru/pazh, and Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (BAAS) at www.aas.org/publications/baas/baas.html. The IAU ``Informational Bulletin of Variable Stars'' (IBVS) has been scanned back to its volume 1 (1961) and is available at www.konkoly.hu/IBVS/IBVS.html. One volume (#45) of the Bulletin d'Information of CDS (BICDS) is at cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Bull.html.
The Journal of Astronomical Data (JAD), announced during the 22nd IAU General Assembly in 1994 as the future journal for the publication of bulky data sets on CD-ROM, has produced three volumes on CD-ROM since October 1995, available at cost from www.twinpress.nl/jad.htm.
More and more electronic journals are linking their references directly to the ADS Abstract Service, thus working toward a virtual library on the Internet.