Letters

We read with great interest Simon Mitton’s article “We Are Publishing Too Many Conference Proceedings” (The Scientist, Feb. 20, 1989, page 9). The author has to be congratulated on his analysis of the situation. No doubt., those in the publication business would agree that proceedings of conferences of marginal interest with numerous uninvited, often unrelated, and frequently unreviewed papers have. spoiled the name “Proceedings,” giving it the connotation of a sec

Craig Sinclair
Jul 9, 1989

We read with great interest Simon Mitton’s article “We Are Publishing Too Many Conference Proceedings” (The Scientist, Feb. 20, 1989, page 9). The author has to be congratulated on his analysis of the situation. No doubt., those in the publication business would agree that proceedings of conferences of marginal interest with numerous uninvited, often unrelated, and frequently unreviewed papers have. spoiled the name “Proceedings,” giving it the connotation of a second-class publication irrelevant to the advancement of science.

In fact, we understand that some librarians are told by their supervisors to delete systematically and indiscriminately all proceedings volumes from the lists of potential acquisitions, thereby decreasing the dissemination of those proceedings that genuinely contribute to the free communication of science.

The problem starts with the quality of the conference organizer and the approach he or she is taking in putting the meeting program together. A “Call for Papers”...

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