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whatever works best (was "paper request")




In the spirit of my New Year's Resolution, I will resist the urge to rant. I think most of us should realize that we are living in a transitional time of information technology and that it has a decade or two to go before it settles down. I take what I can get from whatever source, and if the cost is too much one way, I just have to sacrifice speed.
Of course, if you can get it fast and free off the Internet, that's like having your cake and eating it too, but realistically I don't want to get into a mind-set where I expect such freebies, much less depend on them.
When I first skimmed through Sereno's 1999 paper in Science, it was in the stacks at the library (the microfilm wasn't out yet anyway). I was too busy to wait for a copier then, and never had to copy it, since I got a reprint from him. Otherwise, I would have gone back and copied it, because I don't want to have to depend on the slow-loading and incomplete online version.
Yes someday, after the transition to online publishing is much more complete, it will be much easier and faster. In the meantime, it's whatever way works best, and don't take any source for granted. I hate microfilm, but it is so nice to have as a backup when the printed copy is at the bindery or unavailable for other reasons.
So, as far as I am concerned, the more ways there are to get an article (xerox, reprint, fax, subscription, microfilm, online formats, etc.), the more backup options I have and the less frustrated I will be in the long run. If you get dependent on the Internet too soon, I think you are giving "Old-Man Frustration" an open invitation.
Happy New Year,
Ken Kinman
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