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Dear all:

Please don't misconstrue Eric Essene's reply - it wasn't an attack on
the original message author.

We all know its valid to use the mailing list to get new information,
new references, etc (Case 1). New things, unpublished or recently
published things, even rumours and best guesses.

Also, we all know that some people have used the list to generate
basic reference lists instead of doing the tedious work - visiting
their own libraries, looking at abstracting services, talking to
colleagues, etc. (Case 2).

It can be difficult for distant readers of our email list to know
what type any single request is.

Obviously I realize some people cannot get information or services
that many take for granted. And I do understand that students
sometimes are a special case.

However, there have been a lot of reference requests the past year.
Many (most?) are obviously Case 1 requests, and have generally been
treated well. Others are (perhaps less obviously) Case 2 requests -
they come from individuals who will not put in the hours to
developing a reference collection in their speciality.

Maybe the metamorphism list should pool its individual reference
collections into one big public, WWW-available, database? Would this
solve everyone's problems?

Chris Mawer


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