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Re: Dinosaurs and the Web



>While in Pittsburgh for SVP, I dropped in at the Carnegie Robotics lab to do
>some research for my robotics book. There my host (H. Moravec) showed me how
>many fields of science are switching to the Web for publishing their
> research. Advantages. Speed, publish the day the paper is finished.
>Response, those who have comments on the paper can publish replies the same
>day, and a dialog can be set up (a bit like the dialog Ruben and I had going
>on RT on this board, only more formal and useful). Cost, very low. Reprints,
>don't need them. Reviewer's, unnecessary (in part because of the rapid reply
>system).
>   Moravec was surprised to learn that dinosaur researchers are not
>publishing on-line, a fact that a scan of the dinosaur location confirmed. I
>explained that we paleontologists are still stuck in the Mesozoic. Also,
>there have been problems with illustrations, but this is fast disappearing. 
> The journal-review system is an artifact of 20th century technology, and it
>will be interesting to see if it survives the change over to the next. 
>   Take the paper I am doing on respiratory turbinates. It would be ideal for
>the Web site. The situation with RT is changing so fast that the journal
>system will probably see the paper obsolete by the time it gets reviewed and
>printed. Besides, the paper is really a commentary on earlier work rather
>than ground breaking original research, and should be on a fast track reply
>and comment system. Too bad it is not yet available to us dino folks.

   I'm sure it's not like nobody has thought of it.  *I've* thought of it,
and will be trying to find a job doing it.  I'm sure the real problem is
money.  You said the cost is low ... that depends on what you're talking
about.  Buying the necessary equipment to make a credible net presence ain't
cheap, and renting the space can be an expensive proposition as well.

   If there's a museum out there that has the bucks (both for salaries and
equipment) and the will to move toward this sort of thing, give me their
name and I'll send 'em a resume ....

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