European authorship trends in fifteen major scientific and technical bibliographic databases on the DIALOG information system are examined for works published between 1970 and 1990. There was an increasing number of records with European authors in 21% of the data set. In 6%, an overall decline was found. In 52%, authorship increased into the 1980's, and then declined. The most heavily represented countries were the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Overall, with the exception of MEDLINE, BIOSIS, and INSPEC, coverage of the works of European authors has been declining over the past twenty years, and particularly so in the last five.
For the past eight years, the author has been examining trends in access to international scientific literature in major international bibliographic databases available on various information systems. A major portion of the research program examined and compared the languages of documents and countries of publication for items published between 1970–1990 and recorded on MEDLINE, PsycInfo, BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts, and other databases on the DIALOG system. The second phase of this study examines the remaining scientific databases on DIALOG, including MATHFILE and AGRICOLA. A comparison of the international range of MEDLINE and EMBASE has also recently been completed. In order to attempt to assess actual amounts of literature produced, the Unesco statistics for literature production have been studied. In the course of this research, the author encountered a variety of system attributes that affect the ways in which Third World science can be identified. Some of the policies and procedures of database development that affect the inclusion of Third World science have been identified.