[Coral-List] Open Access to the ICRS proceedings

Paul Blanchon blanchon at mar.icmyl.unam.mx
Wed Apr 21 09:39:52 EDT 2004

I think it is about time that the whole idea of a hard-copy proceedings 
for this very large and unwieldy conference is reconsidered.

This year, the Okinawa conference organisers will distribute the 
proceedings on CD-ROM, which is a step in the right direction. But this 
is still effectively grey literature given that very few copies make it 
to accessible libraries and there is no online access. As a 
consequence, even less people get to see the science when it eventually 
gets published. To some extent, this explains the trend over the last 
two ICRS conferences for contributors to publish their work in special 
issues of international journals rather than in the proceedings--which 
I see as a continuing trend if things don't change. With the odd 
exception, it is generally the case that all those who publish work 
only in the proceedings will be doomed to obscurity.

In my opinion, the time has come to make the proceedings web-based, 
open access publications uploaded and archived by the ICRS. They could 
be restricted to conference attendees in the first year of publication 
(ensuring that ICRS makes its money in conference fees) and later 
released to all with internet access. This will ensure a much wider and 
quicker circulation and make the proceedings altogether more useful. It 
sounds like a lot of work for the ICRS, but if authors submit their 
final (reviewed) manuscripts as pdf files it should be a walk in the 
park compared to the present unhappy situation.


Dr. Paul BLANCHON  |  Investigador Cientifico
Reef Systems Unit (Pto. Morelos)
Inst. de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia (ICML)
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
Ap. Postal 1152, CP 77500 Cancun,

Tel. +52 (998) 87-10219 ext 47
Fax: +52 (998) 87-10138
Work E-mail: blanchon at icmyl.unam.mx
Home E-mail: blanchon_s at yahoo.com
Web: www.icmyl.unam.mx/arrecifes/-blanchon
"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one
directly, affects all indirectly."
	Martin Luther King Jr.

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