Another opinion on electr. publ.

Peter N. Saurugger peter-s at MOLBIO.CBS.UMN.EDU
Thu Aug 9 11:12:04 EST 1990


I have followed the discussion with quite a bit of interest. I remember
a similar discussion during last years Protein Society Meeting in Seattle -
the Epub proponents "lost" ...

Here is how I would envision an electronic publishing system:

(1)	Once a week (a month, ...) I receive an email message with a
	listing of the latest set of citations. (If I get more than that,
	I will not be able to read most of them)

(2)	I send email requests for the abstracts of selected articles to
	an email server. Alternatively, all the abstracts should be available
	through ftp.

(3)	The articles, formatted in PostScript, are available via ftp.

(4)	Open Domain software should be available at the ftp site for
	previewing and some management of the citations.

This would keep the amount of traffic sent via email down (of course one
could try to send uuencoded X11 raster files ?!). The user, whether on a
Sun, A Mac, a DOS etc. machine, has to have a high resolution screen,
access to the net, and a PostScript display program. Such a system can be
had for ca. $4,000.- (for IBM clones); ca. $5,000.- for a Sun (or some
other workstations) and $5,000.- + for a Mac (forget the SE .)

There are operating costs involved at the email server/ftp site. But how
much can be saved by avoiding to printing/mailing process?

While one cannot expect everyone who is interested to have such a system
at hand, I found that most new computer purchases of faculty here have
the above mentioned capabilities. Those who do not have these capabilities
will have to get them; my personal experience is that it is impossible to
support every format that is used - so why even bother e.g. with anything
else but PostScript (which Editor or Publishing Program does *not* support
this format ???)

-- 

Peter N. Saurugger, Director		voice: (612) 625-3744
Molecular Biology Computing Center	email: peter-s at molbio.cbs.umn.edu
Coll.Biol.Sci., Univ. of MN



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