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Re: Colour Pictures in Aroidiana

  • Subject: Re: Colour Pictures in Aroidiana
  • From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod@gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 09:24:36 -0600

To further support Dylan's explanations, there are two other issues with electronic only publications:
1) Technology advances at a tremendous rate. The .pdf files prepared using the earlier versions of Adobe are not readable by the most recent versions. The technology is no longer supported. It is costly and time consuming to go back and rescan all those files.
2) Many libraries (especially in universities, colleges and museums) have been switching to on line versions journals, because they can free up more space by not having back issues cluttering up the shelves. The problem is that when budget cuts come and some subscriptions are cancelled, there are no back issues available. All access to the journal is severed. The subscription is all or nothing. So even though the library has been paying the subscription for years, there is nothing to show on the shelf as soon as the subscription is ended.
That being said, this is a false dichotomy: it does not have to be an either/or proposition. Many journals offer both online and print versions. We could do the same. This will not alleviate the second problem I described above. But it may help some of our members. In the journal that I co-edit, the online version has the photos in colour, while the print version has the photos in black and white, unless paid for by the author.
Happy days,

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM, Hannon <othonna@gmail.com> wrote:
Your comments resonated with me and I would like to add a few thoughts.
The main issue with any technical or semi-technical photography is accuracy and usefulness, whether in color or b&w. Black and white film is often the best choice for showing features in light contrast that tend to be drowned out by color. When I think of the IAS and the material benefits I have enjoyed most I think of the earliest issues with those iconic b&w photos by Mayo, Bogner and others, usually of very rare and exciting aroids. Quite often the same photos were useful in trying to decode the cultivation of the plants. Those photos were inspiring because of the subject matter and the quality; color had nothing to do with it.
Paper is archival. We know that Aroideana will last 100++ years when stored with care. Papers published in printed journals provide a fixed record that cannot "go down" or become corrupted by the vagaries of digital media storage. The "back up" consists of copies in the hands of many people around the world.
The situation where hobbyist and scientific venues must be balanced is capably managed not only in Aroideana but in the Cactus and Succulent Journal (US) and Orchid Digest. I believe all of these groups have been built on the idea that the two realms are complimentary and not antagonistic. Contributions from hobbyists provide essential information about cultural experiences, sourcing plants and travel, while botanists provide leading insight into new discoveries that help drive interest. The distinctiveness and appeal of these journals lies in the fact that science forms the foundation for further understanding and enjoyment of the respective groups.
Until membership grows to a point where color can be considered for all Aroideana issues, online color and printed b&w seems like a reasonable dichotomy.
Dylan Hannon

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D. Christopher Rogers
Crustacean Taxonomist and Ecologist
Kansas Biological Survey
Kansas University, Higuchi Hall
2101 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66047-3759 USA

Associate Editor, Journal of Crustacean Biology http://www.thecrustaceansociety.org/
Vice President, Southwest Association of Freshwater Invertebrate Taxonomists SAFIT.ORG

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