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On the question raised by publication provenance on
*Achillobator* by Perle et al. (2000):
It is about time that a Mongolian dinosaur is
published in Mongolia. Okay, so I have a gripe, and
that's that most new Mongolian material has been
published, most often in very limited form, in
American or British journals or magazines, and that's
it. Two or three pages is not a good descriptive form
for something as potentially stimulating as the first
fully articulated theropod embryo (Norell et al.,
1994) and so on. Some have gotten more exposure (Clark
et al., 1999) but some not (Sloan, 1999; Barsbold et
al., 2000) with a full exposure of a pelvis and eight
caudals for a much more complete animal. My gripe
includes argument against some journals (_Nature_,
_Science_) which have limited fori* for just a brief
note, and with the authors themselves for subjecting
their work to such limited fori.
If it takes the Mongolian journal to allow a 105
description to be more complete, then so be it, and
we'll be damned happy to spend the extra time to
aquire the paper, because it *will* be sent to America
to most major institutions, and this will give many of
us access. Just get the connections, and there are
plenty of people willing to shuffle about to help the
rest of the list.
Oh, there is a down side to this, I know, and that's
often the language barrier. Perle et al. have
apparently published in English, but previous
Mongolian papers (and I have most of 'em) are in
Russian, and this makes accessibility limited in
_want_, due to a relative lack in Russian-speaking
Americans who are into palaeo. I have, to conquer
this, been teaching myself Russian (slowly) for the
last two years, and can now read comfortably 1/4 the
scientific Russian, but not conversationally. That's
next. This is the best thing for those who need to
read the older papers in phylogeny and anatomy, a
great number of which are in German and Russian, plus
several in French and Spanish. Certainly many of us
can speak another language enough to get by in a
scientific paper, much even better, and with Ben
Criesler reading Chinese, Wilson and others
translating important Spanish, French, and other
language papers for the last several years, this will
soon be conquered. It turns out that a good paper on
oviraptorid cranial anatomy (rarely cited except in
Currie et al., 1994 and Sues, 1998) is Barsbold, 1977
[on cranial kinesis], which I am now translating.
But my point here is that we should not try to get
an English publication version of another paper, but
try to aquire the paper itself and a translation
thereof, or translate it yourself. Not to block your
will to get English publications of other papers, but
these usually do take place in the form of short notes
or papers in _Nature_ or _Science_, and that is just
I appologize in advance for the ranting.
* "fori": pl. form of "forum"
Jaime "James" A. Headden
"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."
Qilong---is temporarily out of service.
Check back soon.
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