16 May 2005

Kickin' it old school

I just received something I haven't seen in a long time. A reprint request card. It's a little postcard from someone, with a form asking me to send them a copy of a recent paper (in this case, one that came out in Journal of Comparative Phsyiology A). Without getting too nostalgic, they were something I saw a reasonable number of in graduate school -- not so much my own, of course, but there was a reasonably steady stream of them coming into the department's mailboxes.

You don't see reprint cards much now, because people will typically either send out an email, and the revolution in electronic publishing typically means that most people who are interested can just download and read the article electronically. While I'm very pleased for the increased accessibility of electronic publishing, one of the things I do miss is knowing that other people are actually reading the thing. And -- even better -- to learn that it's someone that I don't actually know personally. Sometimes, the field is so small, you wonder if you are making an impact on those outside of your own circle of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. Reprint cards gave you a little peek at who's reading your work in a way that electronic publishing typically doesn't.

We also finished moving the last of the herbarium cabinets today. No bruises this time, thanks to having a proper dolly to move those suckers.

Oh, and I should also mention that I am now officially the Department of Biology's graduate program coordinator. Ah, the power...

Hm. Not feeling the power yet. Hang on, is this plugged in?

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