Web citations

Dennis Paulson dpaulson at UPS.EDU
Thu Sep 18 08:58:54 CDT 1997

Cliff Wetmore wrote:

>    There is a major problem that has been developing in monographic
>studies. The editors of jounals will not let us cite many specimens seen.

Perhaps because the editor is an "old timer," the primary journal of
dragonfly systematics (Odonatologica) still publishes complete lists of
specimens examined, so I haven't had that problem. I suspect this will vary
greatly from journal to journal, but perhaps the trend is inexorably in the
direction Cliff points out.

It may be that one answer to this is to publish in (or start!) journals
that do indeed consider specimen lists essential. At the same time, I see
much benefit in publishing these lists on the web, whether in addition to
or instead of in the journal. I think we would all agree that there are
items of less value on the web!

Clearly there is also the alternative of the author maintaining such a list
and furnishing it to interested parties, as has been done for many years
for data sets too voluminous for publication. I'm not sure we're at the
stage yet of routinely putting these data on CD-ROMs, as Bodo Hasso Dietz
suggested, just because most data sets would barely impinge on the storage
capacity of that medium, but it's worth considering as another alternative.
I think the CD-ROM alternative would be significant if more than one
researcher's data could be shared on a single CD-ROM. I can envision all
systematic/faunistic papers on Odonata for 1997 being available on one
CD-ROM, for example, if there were a clearing house to collect such data.

Of course gigantic collective databases, taxon by taxon, is what is really
needed; I'm not sure whether we are moving in that direction yet or not.

I see now there are a large number of responses to this thread in my
mailbox; I apologize if any of my comments are redundant.

Dennis Paulson, Director                           phone 253-756-3798
Slater Museum of Natural History                 fax 253-756-3352
University of Puget Sound                       e-mail dpaulson at ups.edu
Tacoma, WA 98416

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