FWD: Public Library of Science initiative

Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Mon Jun 25 16:44:19 CDT 2001


Markku Savela wrote:

>And I think that is a good thing. Time is not yet ripe for electronic
>only publications. Electronic documents are just too ephemeral, and
>unreliable at this point (how do you know it has not been changed
>after publication?). Which version is the correct one? Before jumping
>into electronic only publications, there should be infrastructure and
>procedures to handle at least

The Code already allows for CD-ROM publication. That alone solves
most of the problems you mention, and doesn't require paper. Of
course, no one has proven that CDs aren't ephemeral, so we're dealing
with a double standard (by accepting CDs, the Commission has
implicitly removed "demonstrable permanence of medium" as a criterion
for valid publication). Given that, most of the arguments against
going electronic-only vanish. Your remaining problems have *already*
been solved by much of the scientific community, like the physical
and medical sciences (and the last major issue - free public access -
is what the PLOS is addressing). The infrastructure and procedures
for electronic publication have been in place for years now, so your
argument should instead be phrased "Why are we still not doing what
all these other scientists have been doing - competently - for so
long?"

As far as I can see, the Code is the only thing stopping us,
ultimately, though we may admittedly be suffering from a lack of
organization, cooperation, and funding, all of which doesn't help.

Peace,
--

Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
            http://entmuseum9.ucr.edu/staff/yanega.html
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82




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