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Communications of the ACM

A card format for reference files in information processing


This paper proposes a card format suitable for a variety of reference files in information processing. An 80-column IBM card is divided into two fields—reference material field (columns 1-67) and identification field (columns 68-80). The format for the reference material is flexible, while the format for the identification is rigid. The reference material includes basically an index, title, source, class, summary and cross reference for each entry. The identification includes basically codes for a matrix of descriptors, an entry number, and the kind, major interest, and source of the reference. The identification also provides a choice to identify material for personal as well as general files. Since this card format is sufficient to identify the material normally associated with reference files for books, articles, programming terms, hardware terms, equipment, machine systems, abbreviations, etc., it is suitable as a standard for card reference files in information processing.

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