Electronic publishing

ODONNELL at arcb.afrc.ac.uk ODONNELL at arcb.afrc.ac.uk
Wed Aug 8 05:50:00 EST 1990

An interesting discussion - it's a pity that a quirk in the distribution
of bbmessages to the UK sends them in a different order. We see some replies
BEFORE the original....

The archiving problem is of great significance. Electronic backing up
procedures are more expensive and time consuming that storing a printed copy
on a shelf. If you have an admin computer on your network, you will know what
I mean: everything grinds to a halt during their backup.

Electronic media fade more rapidly than other sorts - Indeed some of the
older printed works are outliving modern paper. The latter self-destructs
because of the chemical processes used in its production. The lifetime of
magnetic media is less than 20 years (according to an article in New Scientist
some time back) Backups of LARGE archives will be essential. Look at the
sequence databases - it frightens my network administrators when I tell them
how fast its growing.

So what about published works that are not appreciated at their time of
publication? Currently they can languish in a library, to be discovered many
years later (eg : Mendel's work in genetics). The fast pace of computing often
says "use it or lose it"; a message we received recently about our network
software library. It has been in operation for only two years.

As one contributor said - electronic publishing has its place. Appropriate
solutions for appropriate data.

Disclaimer: Only my personal views expressed.
Cary O'Donnell			Tel: (+44) 582 762271 ext 226
AFRC Computing Centre		Fax: (+44) 582 761710
West Common			email: ODONNELL at UK.AC.AFRC.ARCB
Harpenden			(Molecular biology support at AFRCCC)
Herts AL5 2JE
U.K.    			(AFRC = Agricultural & Food Research Council)

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