[Taxacom] Finding articles

Adam Cotton adamcot at cscoms.com
Fri Dec 16 09:47:08 CST 2011

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Francisco Welter-Schultes" <fwelter at gwdg.de>
To: "taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>; "Paul van Rijckevorsel" 
<dipteryx at freeler.nl>
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 10:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Finding articles

>I also thought that less was online, this is why I counted them, the
> 80 % result surprised me too. It was more than I expected. Perhaps it
> is because you always spend more time with the 20 % you do not get.
> And then you get the subjective feeling it is more.
> It is also possible that the list was biased towards digitised
> literature (I might have cited less papers of those I had not seen),
> but I do not really believe that this effect would account for a
> difference of more than 5 %. I had to cite all original descriptions
> of a predetermined number of 2200 species, and these did not ask
> whether their original sources were online or not.
> This was a general European fauna. If you try to do the same with
> 1000 papers on Italian fauna it will be less. If you do it with North
> American fauna, I would expect more than 80 %.
> BHL librarians asked me recently to tell them which ones were
> the serial runs with gaps. But my feeling of the current situation
> is that almost all serial runs have gaps, at least 80 %, and that BHL
> librarians could just look for the gaps themselves, it would not be
> difficult to find them. The Science example is typical, by no way an
> exception.
> Francisco
> University of Goettingen, Germany
> www.animalbase.org


BHL has done a fantastic job, and a few months ago I sent them lists of 
omissions, many of which have since been added to the available online text 
scans (a big thank you to Grace Duke & Diana Shih); but it does seem so 
often that the one journal volume wth the original description I want to see 
is the very volume missing from the BHL 'shelf'. For example, the other day 
I wanted to see Entomologishe Rundschau vol. 28 (1911), but vols 27 and 28 
are the 2 volumes up to 1923 that are not available. (Before you ask, I 
cannot speak/read German, but I get by using a dictionary to translate the 
words I do not understand - it is surprising how much I can understand 
without looking words up.)

All the best,

PS. I think Animalbase has also done a fantastic job too! 

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