Robin Panza panzar at CLPGH.ORG
Fri Mar 21 09:58:58 CST 1997

From: "Stephen P. Rae" <srae at MUSCI.COM>
> If the material is on the Internet and has been
> commented on by the professional community (or anyone else with some
>competence), then a value has been assigned and the material can be weighted
>for research value.

This barely touches another point that I haven't heard mention of this time
around--peer review of the work.

Perhaps a good compromise would be to submit the work to a peer-reviewed
journal and, after successful publication, make the *descriptions* available
on the net.  This assumes the journal is willing to "give away" it's
information to those who don't buy subscriptions or reprints.  This would
provide easy access and wide dissemination (in both media), while still
maintaining an archived tamper-proof medium.  The citation would be the paper-
publication, the website merely a convenience for dissemination and

Yes, errors can occur to the website (intentional or otherwise), but errors
get into print, too.  An example is the type locality of the Ipswich Sparrow.
The original work talked at length about seeing the birds in Georgia and that
was long accepted as the type locality.  However, careful reading showed the
type specimen was from New Jersey and the many citations were incorrect.
I'm sure every taxon has a similar example.  It is always up to the writer to
verify information and not rely on second-hand versions.

Robin K Panza                   panzar at clpgh.org
Section of Birds, Carnegie MNH
Pittsburgh  PA  15213  USA

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