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Libraries and Journals (was RE: Dinosaur Museum Journal)



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> ekaterina A
>
> I agree Mr Ford that we need more dinosaur
> publications
> Why not make JVP a monthly then? Are they so strapped
> for cash that they cannot print it monthly?

Oh my goodness, YES!!!

I'm guessing that most of the folks on this list have no real feel for how
"on the edge" most scientific societies are in trying to do the work they do
(such as publish quality work, help fund research, etc.).  Perhaps if the
Society were to double its fees (and, magically, not lose a substantial
number of members) it could publishe more often.

Similarly, Tracy (I think) commented on why libraries can't just order a
copy of the book like anyone else.  While they could in principle, many
cannot in practice.  Libraries are struggling institutions in the U.S., and
hurting even worse in developing countries.  For example, nearly every
university library in the U.S. is having to cancel subscriptions to journals
(this includes Harvard, the biggest university library in the country; and,
for that matter, government libraries like that of the U.S. Geological
Survey); similarly, funds to purchase books have gone down dramatically.

Consequently, choices have to be made.  Does the research library keep a
subscription to Palaeontology, which might be used by four faculty and a
dozen students per year, or an equally priced physics journal which will
have ten-to-a hundred times more users?  Do they buy the book on
mathematically modelling that many faculty are urging them to get, or the
one on Chinese fossils that only a couple are asking for?

Hope this helps explain the situation.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796