we're in trouble! - (2 points)

U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu
Mon Jul 4 07:09:10 EST 1994

In article <2v75g2INN2ocb at sat.ipp-garching.mpg.de>, krasel at alf.biochem.mpg.de
(Cornelius Krasel) says:
>The problem is simply that the general public won't have any advantage of
>reading the primary journals, simply because they can't understand it.
   As I said, this is "common sense".  But I've noticed that articles seem to
become more comprehensible when I can go through them 30 at a time and choose
where to begin after seeing the abstracts.  Now imagine what it would be like
with hypertext references ("just double-click on the review paper").  In any
case, I'd like to see this question settled by experiment.

>I couldn't disagree more. Internet may be fast but electronic publishing
>just doesn't fit my (and probably other people's) reading habits. I had
>a glance at the CD version of the Journal of Bacteriology, and although
>it is certainly an advantage concerning space I always preferred the
>printed version (in fact, the whole group preferred the printed edition :-).
   Of course.  After all it is a CD of one journal, which only one person can
use at a time, and computer access takes extra time and trouble.  But would you
feel the same way if you were doing a search on a topic of interest to your lab
and you could just double-click on the papers and never had to visit a library,
hunt for a book near the copy machines, or have to ask the reference librarian
whether the journal you're trying to find is in the back waiting to be sent to
the bindery?  Rather than subscribing to that one journal and looking at that
particular table of contents to see what's interesting, you might instead have
a list of keywords that interest you, and articles bearing those words would
travel to your desktop the moment they were ready.  You might still trust
the editors of your favorite journal enough to browse through each issue*, but
this would be only one of many options.  My point is that we are at a lucky
time when it is becoming technically possible, that every researcher could
"subscribe" to every journal!  THAT is better than print.
*  "issue": Listing of on-line articles (for instance, in hypertext format)
that meet editor(s)' requirements for general interest and peer review.

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