Few librarians would argue with the benefits online searching has brought to information management. Information specialists were quick to recognize the tremendous potential offered by this technology for easy access, rapid data retrieval, faster patron satisfaction, and an end to laborious manual searches. Similarly, reference publishers have welcomed the opportunity to expand current product lines and to create new modes of information transfer. However, the initial enthusiasm with which reference librarians greeted online searching has been moderated by serious practical and philosophical concerns. These same concerns must give reference source producers pause, because they affect the acceptance and use of electronic searching by librarians. There are solutions to the new challenges reference librarians face which arise from online searching, and meeting these challenges successfully is a task reference librarians and reference source producers can most effectively face together.