L’Année philologique is published, or has been published, in several forms:
Use of the most recently-printed volume is almost indispensable for every specialist who wishes to take into account scholarly work not yet indexed in previous volumes by perusing a rubric of the first part, or a section of the second part, especially if these have copious entries (as is the case, for example, with the rubric Testamenta, or the Archaeology section). This is the rationale for making, since October 2008, a print image of the volume itself available for browsing on the online data base in a protected PDF format. The value of the printed Index nominum antiquorum, Index geographicus, and Index nominum recentiorum should also be emphasized, each of which has no equivalent in the online database. On the other hand, consultation of the online database allows the user to collect rapidly everything that appears in the printed volume on a given subject – and even, by use of the full-text search, to compensate to a certain extent for the absence of a keyword search. Thus a user who is interested in poison in antiquity (and is equipped with the necessary linguistic knowledge) could find entries in the database having the words « poison » (English, French), « Gift » (German), « veleno » (Italian), « veneno » (Spanish), etc.
In sum, by offering respectively a synchronic and a diachronic view of scholarly production, the printed volume and the online database complement each other rather than truly competing with or duplicating each other.