The past half century has seen dramatic changes in the world of scientific publishing; changes that will continue in the next few decades. The newest generations of (geo)scientists have come of age in an environment where the research literature is almost entirely accessed online and visits to physical library collections are becoming increasingly rare. On one hand, these developments have led to the proliferation of new journals, most of which only exist online, and many of the latest additions are open-access journals. On the other hand, several older publication venues have come to a close.
It is now 20 years ago that the last issue of Tulane Studies in Geology and Paleontology (initially known as Tulane Studies in Geology) appeared. Coincidental or not, 1997 was right around the time that scientific publishing rapidly migrated to the internet. Initiated in 1962, TSGP has published more than 5000 pages of peer-reviewed research, in many cases by faculty members and graduate students in Tulane’s Department of Geology. Series like TSGP proliferated for many years, in part based on the extensive exchange schemes that existed between academic libraries. Editing was carefully done in house, constituting a major time commitment for the faculty members who served as editors. Even though the series was discontinued a while ago, the research published in TSGP has had a lasting impact. It continues to be cited on a regular basis and typically accrues 20 to 30 citations annually according to the Web of Science.
All the issues of TSGP appeared in print only. Since many of the studies published in this series were in paleontology, particular care was taken to provide high-quality imagery (e.g., drawings, photos, and SEM images of a wide range of specimens). This is where digitization presents a challenge; while many scientific journals have had back issues scanned and made available in electronic format, the quality of illustrations varies widely. The recent effort by Tulane’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library to digitize TSGP was carefully designed to ensure that the high print quality would be preserved. It is a pleasure to see that this unique and large body of scientific work is now available without charge, to the scientific community as well as the public at large. In other words, TSGP has fully entered the 21st century: it is all digital and entirely free. For those who prefer to browse through hard copies of journals, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library holds a full set of bound volumes. The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences still houses a considerable collection of original issues of TSGP that are available upon request. We are grateful to the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library for leading the effort to preserve such a large body of work to benefit many future generations of scholars.
Torbjörn Törnqvist, Vokes Geology Professor, Tulane University
Focus and Scope
Tulane Studies in Geology and Paleontology is devoted primarily to the geology and paleontology of the coasts and adjacent land areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Each number is issued separately and contains an individual monographic study, or several minor studies. As volumes are completed, title pages and tables of contents will be distributed
to institutions exchanging the entire series.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Dr. Emily Vokes, Professor Emeritus