electronic publication

Warren D. Allmon wda1 at CORNELL.EDU
Sat Apr 22 11:47:39 CDT 1995

>BUT....Publishing exclusively in electronic form leaves out every
>institution and researcher without access to up-to-date electronics.

>Please, let us not abandon print publication entirely!

My greatest concern with electronic publication of taxonomic literature is
the rapid turnover of data storage formats and electronics for reading those
formats.  Systematics is a unique science in its extreme reliance upon old
references, and the very long usefull lifetimes of taxonomic monographs.
The cd-rom format will have, in our terms, a very short lifetime before it
is replaced by another storage meduim and this by yet another.  It is
entierly reaonable to expect that in 100 years the extraction of data from
cds wil be a very expensive and difficult process available only in a very
few places in the world.  An exact analogy is the storage of information on
old wax phonograph drums.  How many of you have access to equipment to
retrive such data?  It can be done, but it is a non-trival process.
Obtaining hundred year old monographs on paper can be difficult enough
without the added difficulty of having no way to retrieve the information on
-Paul J. Morris
Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
(607) 273-6623
Fax:   273-6620

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