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Re: Net Journal



After reading an article in the latest New Scientist, I was struck by an
idea that I thought should be opened to discussion on the net: what is the
feasibility of establishing a peer-reviewied, scientific journal on the
internet?

I have given it some thought and offer the following suggestions for discussion:

The publication its self would be a WWW site titled "Journal of
Palaeoherpetology".

Articles "published"  on the WWW site would be put there by an "Editor".

If an article is to be submitted for publication, the author or authors
would notify the editor by email that they have posted their manuscript as
a ftp file or files which would include figs, photos or even videoclips.

The editor would then solicit at least two, preferably three peer reviews.
Pending the approval of the reviewers, or ammendments to the MS in
accordance with comments made by reviewers, the article would be posted on
the WWW site by the editor.

The benefits would be an extremely cheap form of publication with and
extremely rapid turn around of between submission and publication of a few
days and, possibly, a few hours! Because of the ease of publication,
reports, honours, masters and Phd theses could be submitted as well as all
those annoying little MS we have cluttering our offices that we cant find
the time to send to other journals. Yet the peer-review would ensure
standards. The WWW site could also contain an up to date index of subjects
delt with in each article. Publication format would not have to be as
strict as a printed journal but we could take the format of JVP as a
standard (if JVP don't mind!).

Problems as I see it would involve the validity of zoological names
published in such a manner and finding an appropriate Editor. A quick
reading of the ICZN Articles 8 & 9 indicates that a net publication would
be accepted as a valid form of pubication of a zoological name, but this
should be throughly checked out before proceeding down this path. Even if
it turns out that net-names are invalid, there are still plenty of other
palaeoherpetological papers that could be published on the net including
faunal reviews, biomechanical analyses and field reports.

The job of editor would be both time consuming and require someone familiar
with editing scientific journals. It could start as a voluntary position
with a later option of renumeration if the workload gets too great.
Renumeration could be in the form of page costs from the authors. Because
of the expence of net time to private users, it may be more ammenable for
an editor to be selected from a museum or university where net time is
provided for free.

OK, so there is. Any comments?

Cheers, Paul

pwillis@ozemail.com.au

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