parsing taxonomic rank

Ron at Ron at
Mon Jun 25 13:24:36 CDT 2001

Institutional and academic taxonomists (which are few) are paid salaries
for there work/research. The institutions have mailing lists but not paid
subscribers. I would think it would matter little to these "professionals"
and institutions if their research and publications were made available in
total and for free.

Private researches (as myself) spend much of their life and thousands of
their own dollars doing the research that goes into their published papers.
Societies and non-profit groups (as the one I head) who publish scientific
matter rely on the finances that comes from subscriptions to function. If
all their published material was suddenly available in total for free to
everyone they would no longer have subscribers as all the info could be had
for free over the internet. They would thus go out of "business". And those
who utilize them as a vehicle for publishing their private research would
then have to look elsewhere. This would only lengthen the already
ridiculously long line that now causes much research to take years to
publish once submitted and accepted.

At the International Lepidoptera Survey we rely totally on donations and
subscriptions to enable us to publish The Taxonomic Report.  After our
articles are published we post the first page of these papers on our web
site - the first page always includes the abstract. This accomplishes two
things. First, our subscribers are the only ones who get all the research
information. This is only right as they have done something no one else
has - paid for it. Second, it allows the general public and non specialists
to "know" that (a) the research has taken place and (b) what the bottom
line of that research is. Check out how we do this by visiting our web site and clicking on the Taxonomic Report tab on the home

I have no interest in cutting my own publisher throat or slowing down the
publication process (for the supposed benefit of a few to have more and
easier access to research). I do encourage publisher's, both institutional
and independent, to make their abstracts available on-line. Then, those who
really need the whole paper will know where to obtain it. There is so much
knowledge being published that we do need to have an easy way to find out -
topically and generally - what it is. Specifically, one can pay for it - as
the researcher and publisher already have.

Lastly, we all like a good deal or something for free. I do feel though
that one of the types of persons who benefits most from the internet are -
cheapskates. Pirated copywrited music and now copywrited scientific

Ron Gatrelle

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