The year is 1981. An undergraduate is thumbing though volume 12 of Oceanic Abstracts for 1975 in the quiet of the university library. Only another four years of abstract indexes to go and, by tomorrow, he should have all he needs for his dissertation on storm surges in the North Atlantic. All that remains is to work through the abstracts, decide which papers are worth reading in full, find them somewhere in the library (hopefully), and he will be set up to start writing in the next week or so. It is amazing that such a thing exists—a journal of oceanographic journals—and he wonders how anyone could have managed without such a resource in the past.