Message for ISRS Members

Alina M. Szmant szmanta at
Fri Jun 15 08:14:04 EDT 2001


Well done in pointing out that  ISRS has always considered the needs of
'third world' coral reef researchers, and in fact was launched in 1981 at
the 4th Internat Coral Reef Symp in the Philippines.   Coral Reefs is the
only journal I know of dedicated exclusively to coral reef research in the
broad sense, and the editorial policy has always been to help as much as we
can to publish good quality work done by researchers in developing nations.
 Access to the journal is more problematic because ISRS is not a large or
rich society.  However, if more of the people that subscribe to Coral-list
would become members, ISRS would have more funds to do more along the lines
of what Mike suggests.  I am always surprised at how many  well known coral
reef research colleagues are NOT members of ISRS.  The broader the
subscribership to the journal, the more we can ask from Springer in terms
of donations to third world universities and marine labs that can't afford
the journal.

So, all you reader Coral-List readers out here:  join ISRS!

Alina Szmant

At 04:40 PM 6/15/01 +1000, Terry Done wrote:
>c.c. list
>No need for a resolution - members already have an option to take out a 
>sustaining membership of ISRS to support good causes.  'Two-tiered' I 
>believe we call it.
>And individuals in the Society did raise lots of money to get over 100 
>people from developing countries to the International Coral Reef 
>Symposium.  And helping organize it.
>ISRS also does its bit by setting a subscription rate so low that 4 people 
>from any western country could buy a subscription out of one week's beer 
>money and donate it to whomever they wish.
>In deference to all those on the list who are not in ISRS, please excuse me 
>if I don't continue this forum on Coral-list.
>Terry Done
>At 08:31  14/06/01 -0400, you wrote:
>>Terry (and others):
>>I hesitate to enter this debate because, like most debates concerning coral
>>reefs, it has already been done elsewhere...
>>I certainly understand that, without ISRS subscriptions, there would be no
>>Coral Reefs. Journals published by professional societies generally give
>>good value. On the other hand: Coral Reefs is a rare bird, in that it
>>contains papers written largely by those of us in the developed world,
>>describing an ecosystem that is largely owned by the Third World. There are
>>few journals, and few professional societies, sharing this distinction.
>>At Ginsburg's 1993 (?) meeting in Miami, on Health, Hazards and History of
>>Reefs, this very aspect was brought up, and pursued with some vigour by
>>those of us who work in lesser-developed nations. Tim McClanahan took the
>>matter further, and suggested to the publishers of Coral Reefs, and to
>>Council, that ISRS somehow acknowledge this state of affairs. Memory fades,
>>but I think some of the ideas suggested involved things like issue
>>donations, a two-tier price system, etc...basically, the response was: No.
>>No way to get there from here.
>>This stands in contrast to the attitude taken by Inter-Science, publishers
>>of MEPS: a much more expensive, much more highly-cited journal than Coral
>>Reefs. They recently offered to donate entire back issues of some of their
>>journals to any deserving developing nation-one need pay only the shipping.
>>In describing the offer, the publishers spoke eloquently of the difference
>>between "them" and "us" in access to the literature, and of their desire to
>>alleviate this. Because of this magnanimous offer, I was able to ship
>>perhaps $30,000 in back issues to our partner university in Indonesia:
>>several marine journals, including MEPS.
>>When I see this sort of thinking emanating from ISRS Council, I will know we
>>are in good hands. As a starter, I suggest Council bring to the membership a
>>resolution along the lines that each subscriber to Coral Reefs pay an
>>additional annual levy ($50?). This money would be used to pay for extra
>>copies of the journal-at publisher's cost-to be shipped to educational and
>>research institutions in the Third World. This would be a wonderful PR coup
>>for the Society. The extra levy could be designated a "charitable donation",
>>and hence a tax deduction. Win-win.
>Dr Terry Done
>Leader Sustaining Living Marine Resources Project
>Australian Institute of Marine Science
>PMB #3 Mail Centre,
>Townsville Qld          4810
>Phone 61 7 47 534 344
>Fax   61 7 47 725 852
>email: tdone at
>WEBSITE for 9th International Coral Reef Symposium
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