[Taxacom] e-only publication for zoology, starts today

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Sep 10 16:19:10 CDT 2012


OK, nobody is "dumb", not even botanists! :)
 
Possibly few people in the world use e-journals more than I do, I couldn't function without them, but perhaps you are missing the point here?
 
The issue is not about the utility of e-journals, it is about the merits of *e-only* journals ...
 
The other thread in Taxacom, "Warning" is kind of relevant here. What if fake e-journals start to take off? Without print journals, will we be able to tell what is real? But that is not the only potential problem. The thing with e-only is that there are *potential problems*. Print journals have been in existence for long enough for us to be fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses, but perhaps we should not jump on to new technological bandwagons quite so recklessly?
 
Any taxonomist who regularly uses the online versions of journals doesn't seem to me to have any reason to want the print edition, which was filed safely away in various libraries, to cease production ...
 
Stephen

From: Paul Kirk <p.kirk at cabi.org>
To: Alastair Culham <a.culham at reading.ac.uk>; "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Monday, 10 September 2012 9:03 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] e-only publication for zoology, starts today

I'm right behind you Alastair ... dumb or dumber mycologist?

Just added a new favourite to my list for a mycological relevant BHL - Mertz Library, NYBG scanned Italian journal ... :-)

Paul

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Alastair Culham
Sent: 10 September 2012 09:57
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] e-only publication for zoology, starts today

Twenty five years ago I was working on a taxonomic revision of a small genus of flowering plants with a worldwide distribution.  This was the focus of my PhD.  Much of the three years of research was spent trying to track down obscure publications.  Even having the Natural History Museum and Kew only two hours rail travel away left me with many difficult references and a big bill for travel and photocopying.

Now I can access those same obscure books and journals via BHL, BHL Europe and a few other web portals.  It saves time, it saves travel money and it reduces my carbon footprint.  It also makes my research more complete and thorough. New publications, even if in printed journals, are usually available electronically.  I tend to access electronic resources from my computer rather than walking to our university library to see the print copies.  The problem journals for me now are usually paper ones that are young enough to be in copyright but old enough not to have been published electronically.

e-only publication hardly impacts on my daily work because I was already using e-access for 'paper' journals.

Long term access and security of e-only publications is a technical problem that will be tested over time.  However at the current time there seem to be more print journals and ancient books being digitised for archival security than there are cases of e-only publications being lost.  

Surely the essential element of publication of new names is that they can be peer reviewed, such that a lot of nomenclatural noise is avoided, and that they are accessible to researchers.

I'm a botanist who thinks e-only publication is working out well; but perhaps that just means I'm dumb? 

Alastair
http://www.reading.ac.uk/biologicalsciences/pg-taught/biosci-pgtmscplantdiversity.aspx 


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