electronic publication

Alexey V. Kuprijanov Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU
Wed Mar 26 13:09:37 CST 1997

>   Andrey Sharkov <Sharkov.1 at osu.edu> writes:
>   > Did anybody think why 99% of the participants in this discussion are form
>   > the United States or Western Europe. May be scientists form other parts of

>   Una Smith in reply to A.S.:
>   Only about 75% of the 1266 current TAXACOM *subscribers* are in the US or
>   Western Europe.  Only 50% are in the US:  this is the lowest percentage I
>   have ever noticed on TAXACOM.  The Internet is dominated now by Americans
>   because we were the first to have widespread access, and participation by
>   people elsewhere closely follows the availability of the Internet in those
>   countries.

I just would like to point out that Andrey Sharkov meant the participants
of the current discussion (concerning electronic publication) and not
those of the entire discussion list.

Last year we discussed already this topic. Then I tried to draw ones
attention to the fact that many people in many countries have no access
to internet. Reviewing some private replies to my posting I was sometimes
surprised to see _what_ countries have problems with this matter (among
them the richly represented in our list Australia).

The situation in Russia (which was the subject of my last year posting)
has not been changed sufficiently in the past year. The Zoological
Institute of the Russian Acad. Sci., for example, has only one computer
with 'off-line' (e-mail only) internet access. Every taxonomist (about
100) of the institute staff has his/her own mailbox. However they can not
participate in any discussion lists just because even the 'simple' private
communication via e-mail becomes an intricate business: the computers of
the institute (a couple of dozens) are not connected in a local web, and
the computer with e-mail connection is situated in groundfloor of the
administration wing of the institute far away from most labs. Besides that
none of the users can send/receive his/her e-mail messages personally,
because only two postmasters (they are ready to help you from 12 a.m. to 2
p.m.) are allowed to do it. Oops! I missed to mention that they should
also pay a bit for this service. Everyday posting from both taxacom and
entomo-l is about 40-60 kb, so they should pay daily about 20,000 Russian
Rubles. It is not a large amount, of course, some 3 USD, I mean. But we
should keep in mind that their salary is no more than 600,000-800,000
Rubles per month. I guess, the situation will not change in the nearest
five or ten years at least.

I can hardly imagine how many they will be forced to pay when the
Institute will get an on-line access...

However, I find that the idea to publish an electronic version of some
newly appeared paper/ink journals or monographs as well as some rare old
ones is great. Once I visited a friend of mine who has an illegal (I am
sorry...) and therefore irregular internet access and spent a night
contemplating the wonderful images of moths and butterflies, sites devoted
to Linnaeus (with wonderful images of his works' pages, portraits,
bibliographies etc), who is of great interest for me (I am working on a
PhD on the history of taxonomy) and so on. I really enjoyed internet.


Alexey V. Kuprijanov            (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea)

Institute for the History of Science and technology
Univrsitetskaya emb. 5
St. Petersburg 199034
R U S S I A                      e-mail: Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU

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