[Coral-List] Posting Literature Requests

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Mon Jan 29 07:52:16 EST 2007


    I have recently received a complaint of posts to Coral-List that
essentially ask subscribers to do their research for them.  As most all
of you know, conducting literature research is a tough job; and reading
all  that material, writing succinct and incisive papers based on the
material and your own research, and meeting peer review is even
tougher.  A good point made in the past is that some researchers are in
very remote places and it is difficult to get library help, so in that
sense, Coral-List has hopefully been good for people in that situation. 
In other cases, students have asked for others to their research, and it
has backfired on them because their professors saw what they were doing
because they are subscribed to Coral-List, too!  In the case of the
complaint referenced above, however, a case was made that a recent
request for literature was done by a commercial venture, and the charge
was made to me (only) that the resulting research product probably would
not be available to Coral-List subscribers, or to others.  I have no way
of knowing whether or not that is the case, so let me just ask, for the
good of "the cause" (i.e., saving the coral reefs of the world), that if
such a literature request post is allowed, that you follow up  your
request with a summary of some sort that goes beyond what the responses
were to the list, or that  you offer to send the summary to those
interested (respondents:  please write directly to the poster, not to
the list).  However, I would prefer that you not use Coral-List for such
inquiries without first conducting your own in-depth research attempts.

    Thanks, and of course please feel free to comment on this subject,
if you wish.


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