Electronic publication

Robin Panza panzar at CLPGH.ORG
Wed Mar 19 15:46:54 CST 1997

>recent discussions involving dissertations.  I believe, and I will
>illustrate my points, that the ICZN does not expressly prohibit electronic
>publications and I believe there can be some good reasons to consider them.

Such publication may not be "illegal", but would be a nightmare to catalogue or
cite.  URLs do change, and web-access (ISPs) can change, too.  Who's to say the
description will be in the same place, or be there at all, 5 years from now
(never mind 50 or 100 years!)?  It wouldn't surprise me if the bottom drops
out of the ISP market at some point, destroying most small-moderate companies,
and some bigger ones.  If that happens, the site will disappear, at least
temporarily.  If the web page reappears, it will no doubt have a different
address.  Even US federal sites have changed addresses, much less private web
pages.  If you allow electronic publication, you will have to *very*
carefully limit what sites are accepted as valid publication.  Even if we
require registry with the ICZN, their address could change.  If I put a
description on *my own* home page and change providers (as I have, looking for
one I truly like), there goes the citation (and the availability).

Electronic publication can look good in theory, but I don't think it's
practical until/unless the internet system stabilizes quite a bit more than it
is now.  How many years ago were we restricted to text-only sites?  How long
will it be before the web is superseded by some other electronic communication?

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

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