[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: [Re: paper request]

In a message dated 12/30/00 7:16:23 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
philidor11@snet.net writes:

Thanks for your comments. There were two main issues of note during this 
thread. 1) The legitimate need for better access to scientific papers and 2) 
the "gimmie-gimmie NOW!" mentality of so many people these days. In an effort 
to keep the post reasonably short I was mostly dealing with the latter. On 
the former, you and I are imuch in agreement.

>  Much as you ordinarily argue cogently and forcefully, I think you're using
>  hyperbole here?

In retrospect, I'll have to concede to you on this. However my intent was not 
so much towards hyperbole as it was to condemn what IMHO, I feel is a 
pervasive mentality of laziness and the need for some to have things handed 
to them rather than to work for it. The exponential growth of the Internet 
has enhanced people's tendancey towards the selfish need for immediate 
gratification. What annoyed me the most was that somehow if such 
gratification was not immediate nor was it "easier" then somehow it was bad, 
wrong or whatever.

Recent statements on this list to the effect of , and I'm paraphrasing here, 
"how about everyone sending me every paper you have on your system" and "what 
good is it to rummage through stacks of journals" clearly illustrate this 
point. The former rather than look for himself wants 'everyone' to send the 
compendium of their time, money and work in order to make that person's job 
easier and the latter, implies that the material are available  but it's too 
much trouble to filter through the journals by hand. Furthermore, and I did 
not make this point before and will do so now, it is also a breach of 
Netiquette to continually spam the list with incessant requests for papers. 
This is a reflection of the fact that no one bothers to either learn the 
rules of Netiquette or to abide by them but falls under the same category 

Sure, it is difficult if not impossible to get every paper that comes about 
and in all reality I don't think that we will ever be able to keep up with 
the flood of literature. And it would be nice to have everything at your 
fingertips, I just do not see it happening any time soon. 

>  Let's say there is an article you really need.  You have two ways to get 
>  First,

>  Same result, you with the article you need; the only difference is the time
>  and expense.  You wouldn't prefer a scythe to a lawnmower would you?

Oh yes absolutely! No argument there. Point taken. However, I did not mean to 
imply that the method _has_ to be difficult to work . That would be 
masochistic, but as I said before, it takes time and money to set up and 
maintain websites. Thisis the limiting factor for now.

>  I know that copyrights currently make this process a bit more elaborate 
>  it has to be.  However, Time and Newsweek, which publish most of their
>  issues online, are showing the way. 

And a few scientific journals do so as well and I believe the Physics 
community as a whole is implimneting this practice. In both cases, one 
profit-making commercial outlets and the other  the "rich cousins" of 
science, both have the means to do so. Our science does not. 

 If many articles cannot be published
>  profitably on paper because the audience is too small, how long will it be
>  before we have subscription sites where peer reviewed articles will be
>  recorded and printable for a few dollars a month?  This may actually be a
>  better opportunity for prompt publication of more articles than the current
>  system.

Agreed. This trend will likely continue untill most if not all publications 
have an "e" - equivalent. However, with the possible exception of large 
mega-journal publishers like Elsevier perhaps, are not most scientific 
journals published at break even or possibly even at a slight loss precisely 
because of small audience? And of course, the readership is made even smaller 
by the bizzarre practice of cranking up subscription rates to overseas 

>  The recorded music business is half trying to figure out how to prevent
>  people from sharing their files and half working on a subscription model
>  like the one discussed above.  I think that the subscription model will
>  eventually win out.  

Possibly. But sites like Napster just lost a major battle with the music 
industry. It will be some time before the dust finally settles to see what we 
end up with.

>With all the money available in recorded music, will a
>  marginally profitable (I believe; correct me if I'm wrong) business like
>  scientific publication be able to hold out?


>  Pssst, want an online, underground copy of the Ostrom Symposium book, taken
>  from galleys?  $2.  [my own hyperbole]
>  Anyway, assuming the most (presumably) hyperbolic meaning of what you 
>  what's wrong with making necessary research faster, more thorough, and
>  cheaper?

None. I'm all for what we just discussed. What I am not for is doing someone 
else's homework for them which was the gist of my rant!

Happy New Years to you and yours and to the members of the DM:L!


Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies