In June 1949 a conference took place at the UNESCO in Paris concerning Scientific abstracting ("...Recommending that all scientific articles should begin or end with an author’s abstract .."). The delegates from ICSU and other participating scientific unions decided to start a joint committee to establish an international journal of physics abstracting.
In July 1951 it was decided that the Bureau of ICSU should accept an international abstracting service as a permanent activity. Thus resulted in establishing and creating an ICSU Abstracting Board that became operational on 1st June 1952.
Gradually ICSU-AB extended its field of influence, solving problems of coverage and speed of publication, as well as constantly concerning itself with the quality and effectivness of the scientific literature. It moved into chemistry in 1959 and biology in 1962.
ICSU-AB had some valuable achievements : An international serials catalogue(1975) and an international classification scheme for physics (1978).
Eventually in the early 1980s it was seen that the rate of growth of scientific information was getting beyond any system based on traditional methods. Furthermore the statutes of ICSU did not allow commercial publishing institutions to become member of ICSU-AB.
As a result, at a meeting in Philadelphia on June 20th 1984, ICSU-AB changed its structure and became the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI).