Web citations

Doug Yanega dyanega at MONO.ICB.UFMG.BR
Thu Sep 18 15:41:09 CDT 1997

Luis Ruedas wrote:

> Perhaps we should make it our business to educate editors (or
>fight with them) about the value of these portions of our manuscripts,
>rather than attempting to cite at times ephemeral electronic resources.

I'm puzzled by this - - don't these journals exist for OUR benefit rather
than the other way around? Aren't the editors of many of these journals
chosen from among the ranks of the folks whose dues support them? If so,
how can we end up with editors whose goals are so much at odds with the
desires of the journal's readers and contributors? Or is it that the
readership/membership no longer is composed of a majority of people who
care about monographic revisions, and thus *do* have the editorial policy
they want? The former problem we could deal with easily, I'd think, but the
second we couldn't. I hope things aren't that bad yet.

As a general issue, the idea of web storage has been discussed here quite a
few times over the last few years, and tends to run into the same impasses
- accessibility, updating, and permanence. Of all of these, actually the
latter is least problematic, depending on how things are handled - if an
archival/retrieval site has enough "mirror" sites, then the collapse of one
site, or a change of address, is not a problem. It's like the risk of all
printed copies of a manuscript going up in flame at once. But permanence is
mostly an *administrative* issue, in the long run - most universities are
committed to a permanent library, but are all these institutions equally
committed to a *permanent* web site, with *no cost* to the researchers who
place their documents there for archiving? Until that policy is
commonplace, many web sites will last only as long as one's funding, more
than likely.


Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-448-1223, fax: 031-44-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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