[Taxacom] IPBES: a new challenge (not for cynics)

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Fri Jan 14 06:00:57 CST 2011


> You make a point, that only an expert can understand whether a
> description can be used or not, ie be trusted.
Trusting colleagues is not the point. I need to know the 
backgrounds and circumstances under which a certain classification 
was proposed. 

> I always thought that science
> is about trust because you can reproduce the results. 
I would not say science is about trust. Science is also about points 
of view. In my field I actually do have to reproduce parts of 
studies, or repeat studies with different methods.

But I don't really disagree with you about what scientific 
publishing should be alike. I just think this is a world of dreams 
which you are proposing there. I fear you are ignoring some basic 
economic principles, and this makes it slightly more difficult for 
the dreams to come true.

If you are not my friend, well, this also occurs. In such cases I 
usually ask a friend of yours who might send me your PDF. Okay, if 
you don't have any friends, that might be a problem. As I said, this 
is just my experience, getting post-2000 literature is currently not 
my main problem. This does not mean that it would not be worth 
thinking about how would we come closer to a more efficient way of 
scientific publishing in the future, in terms of better public 

I admit that in some cases I do not get post-2000 papers of which I 
only saw some Google snips. Our library belongs to those you 
mentioned, that are not able to pay the horrendous subscription fees. 
Well, usually I consider these closed-access papers as not very 
important and I tend to ignore them. I don't like to cite a paper 
which I could not read. Sooner or later the market will solve 
that problem. Citing a journal is supporting that journal. If a 
journal is continuously ignored by scientists it will get economic 


F. Welter-Schultes
Zoologisches Institut, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen
Phone +49 551 395536, Fax +49 551 395579

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