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RE: Russia and phylogenetics was Re: Ceratonykus braincase described



David Marjanovic wrote-

> _Is_ the Paleontological Journal peer-reviewed? 20 years ago, many small
> journals in _western_ Europe weren't reviewed except by the editor, and
> a few probably still aren't.

I suppose I just assumed it was, since it's so popular.  But checking the 
website, I don't see any indication of it.

> First of all, paleontologists – and in general people who think for a
> living (except that I wonder about oil geologists) – are screamingly,
> grindingly, crashingly underpaid in Russia. They all have second jobs in
> order not to starve, and they're still poor. Political reasons have been
> alleged.
>
> For this reason plus obvious historical ones, many just don't speak
> English to a reasonable degree. (I'm told this is actually a divide
> between St. Petersburg, where scientists do speak good English, and
> Moscow, where they don't.)

With Babelfish and the availability of publications online, I can only see 
poverty entering into it if they're too poor to afford the internet.  Maybe my 
privileged American lifestyle makes me naive, but I find it hard to believe the 
Russian Academy of Sciences has no internet access.  They have an extensive 
website, after all.

Also, I want to clarify that I certainly don't mean ALL Russian paleontologists 
are stuck in the past.  Averianov does lots of good work, for instance.  
Perhaps unsurprisingly based on your comments, he's from St. Petersburg.

> For these reasons, the Iron Curtain still has after-effects. For
> instance, the book "Permian and Triassic tetrapods of eastern Europe" by
> Ivakhnenko et al. (1997) uses a classification derived directly from
> that in Olson's 1955 textbook. Olson's own 1965 paper which _demolishes_
> that classification is not cited and seems to have never made it to Russia.

Haha.  That's pretty bad.

Mickey Mortimer