Appearance of full-text online is the most encouraging phenomenon ·during the development of databases. The full-text databases of today is derived from by-product of electronic publication of printed materials. Now, there are also some movements toward electronic production of documents in Korea although not powerful. The present study is designed to examine the characteristics and effective retrieval method of full-text databases now commercially available through various vendors. The outline of this paper IS as follows: First, background and present situation of existing full-text database services through national and worldwide are examined. Second, free-text searching system of full-text databases is compared with controlled vocabulary system. The factors influencing on free-text retrieval performance, searching thesaurus, and hybrid or compromising system, which is using limited controlled vocabulary in conjunction with natural language for the enrichment needed for practical operation of the . system, are examined. Third, user demands through the analysis of preceding studies on 'various types of full-text databases are recognised. Fouth, application of CD-ROM full-text database to the libraries and information centers is examined as prospective resources for them. Finally, some problems and prospect of full-text databases are presented.
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