Key delivery

Tue Jun 20 11:48:58 CDT 1995

To change the direction a bit, I think we can all agree that any key is
better than none  (with a few infamous exceptions), and that for users with
internet access, any free delivery is better than paper you have to buy.

However, how do you 1) make internet publications permanently available, and
2) how do we get credit for them from  the people who pay our salaries?

For instance, in my Beetles of the Virgin Islands project, I have several
unpublished keys that contain no taxonomic or nomenclatural changes.
In spite of the fact that they are in conventional format, I think many of
them might be useful, especially the ones that cover all or most of  the
species of  group for a wider area than the Virgin ISlands.  Many are illustratiillustrated.

In the allocation of page fee resources, these keys are of low priority because
they do not compete with new species descriptions and nomenclatural changes
that require publication.  However, they could easily be made available over5
WWW in html and gif format.

The problem I have is how would someone using these resources cite them?  Since
they could be updated, how would any future user know what that citation refered
to?  Any how is an administrator to evaluate these unrefereed "publications"
in considering a scientist's productivity?  Are there any plans to have a place
for permanent deposition of such electronic publications?  Perhaps in the
Tree of Life we could have a place where keys that have met peer reviewed
status could be deposited.  This would, of course, require a rather large
financial input for someone, which could put us back to the pagefee problem,
but it would presumably be much smaller?

There must be thousands of unpublished keys out there in exactly the same
situation I outlined above.  I would like to hear thoughts about solutions
and ideas like this.

Michael A. Ivie
Department of Entomology
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717

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