On demand printing...

Andrew K. Rindsberg arindsberg at GSA.STATE.AL.US
Wed Apr 26 14:53:53 CDT 2000

An example of a peer-reviewed on-line journal is Palaeontologia
Electronica, at several mirror sites including:


Several issues have already been published, with a readership that probably
exceeds that of any other paleontological journal. New taxa are not allowed
at this time. The latest issue has an editorial that vividly describes the
advantages of publishing on-line ('Let's reclaim our property' by Stefan
Bengtson). I look forward to the day when scientific societies routinely
support electronic publication  at no cost to the reader. It would cost
less to support electronic journals through dues than through page charges
and subscriptions.

Change is inevitable, and we will enjoy many aspects of the new technology,
e.g., increased readership and free peer-reviewed journals. But I agree
that we had better safeguard taxonomy from the worst abuses. A requirement
that one copy of each new taxonomic work be sent to a single location for
registry in the Zoological Record or Index Kewensis would ensure that names
do not lurk in the literature like hidden mines.

Eventually, the paper requirement will be turned on its head. The Codes
will require publishers of new taxa to make electronic copies available.
That will be very convenient for researchers. But we have to survive the
transition period first.

Andrew K. Rindsberg

Geological Survey of Alabama
P.O. Box 869999
Tuscaloosa, AL 35486-6999

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