Online research is experiencing a growth unknown in the past two decades, caused in part, if not entirely, by the personalization of computing. More people have computers and the knowledge of how to use online services. Commercial online database research has taken a place alongside the telephone and fax machine as a contemporary newsgathering tool. For those who use online searching for information, there is no longer an acceptable substitute. Periodical indexes and abstracts are two examples of bibliographic databases. These online and CD-ROM databases are high-quality reference tools for finding specialized literature. Similarly, the number of CD-ROM-based databases available to the public is growing as fast or even more quickly. There were nearly 3,000 CD-ROM databases—about 26% of the more than 11,300 databases published—that were placed on the market in 1996. The number of businesses producing CD-ROMs has grown as well.