SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

I fully support Stan Cowley's letter in the Forum (Eos, October 21, 1986, p. 803) concerning refereeing standards for conference proceedings. Stan's most important point, in my opinion, should be repeated several times over to all space physicists: “Proceedings are simply not accessible to the same degree as are journals.”

I further believe that conference proceedings have wrongly usurped the role of review journals in space physics. The number of space physics papers that have appeared in our AGU review journal in both 1985 and in 1986 is of order unity; in contrast, I count about 30 space physics review or tutorial papers in two Chapman Conference Proceedings from 1985 alone. Perhaps this is appropriate, since “Space Physics” was dropped from the title of this AGU journal 2 years ago. Nevertheless, this decline in journal-published space science review papers will make life more difficult for future generations of researchers in our field who wish to utilize review papers from this epoch. They, as many of our contemporaries who do not have copies of the appropriate proceedings on their bookshelves, will find that libraries typically have less complete collections of conference proceedings than refereed journals. They will also discover that conference proceedings often circulate, whereas refereed journals usually do not, with the result that they will be much less likely to find the paper they seek if it has been published in a conference proceedings. In other words, as the highly respected Stanley Cowley has said: “Proceedings are simply not accessible to the same degree as are journals.”