permanence of electronics

Patricia Barlow-Irick pbarlow at UNM.EDU
Thu Mar 20 14:45:54 CST 1997


Somehow I imagine that this debate is just about the same as the one in
classical times over the issue of whether documents could be written on
sheepskin or paper rather than carved in stone.  Now there is a really
durable medium, but one that the librarians really resent!

IMHO publication on the web is not a good idea.... but publication by CD-ROM
might be very good indeed.  Right now it is already difficult to get copies
of many publications..... I wish they were all on the web!  IF ENOUGH THINGS
ARE ARCHIVED ON CD-ROM, THAT ALONE WILL KEEP THAT TECHNOLOGY OPERATIVE!  Look
at the number of journals that have been put on microfiche.... if there were
a way to access a microfiche reader via the net (and that doesn't seem too
impossible) that would be extremely valuable.

Just because it isn't acceptable for effective publication doesn't mean
having the information out there isn't a good idea.  Here is a list of nice
things a taxonomist might make available: scanned images or text versions of
original descriptions, scanned images of diagnostic characters, current
"working" versions of the synonomy, distribution information, etc.  Of course
these ideas will not appeal to those of us that have more of a sense of
intellectual turf rights. Of course I have not gotten around to putting
my own work on my website.....

Patricia Barlow-Irick
University of New Mexico
pbarlow at unm.edu




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