A while back I advertised the ‘coming soon’ new pterosaur website, which has, inevitable hit some delays. One of the comment-ers wondered if we had knocked together an online list of pterosaur papers in the manner of some other archosaur groups, but while a great guess, that wasn’t it. This however, *is* it.
Yes the incomparable (in a good way) Chris Bennett has done just that and put together a very comprehensive list of pterosaur papers going way, way back into history (pterosaurs were named around 50 years before those poxy dinosaurs were fact fans) and covering, well, everything. Not only that but he is also including PDFs where he has them and is taking in more for the pterosaur community as we speak. All in all it’s a great resource to have and I will be using it extensively I am sure.
There is one thing I want to add though, which does not normally seem to be attached to these projects, and reflects a personal view rather than that of Chris, or indeed, any other civic minded researchers who take on such tasks. Please don’t abuse this by just downloading everything regardless and then just passing those PDFs on freely to all and sundry. Yes I *know* the point of science is for it to be accessible, and yes I *know* that is also at least part of the point of these sites is to make papers more accessible. However, there are still issues over copyright with a great many papers and manuscripts (as Chris notes) and there is actually a big difference between a researcher downloading a paper he *needs*, and someone downloading a paper because they *can*. In terms of trying to pacify various copyright people and journals, the former would probably be considered acceptable (as noted by others, they can hardly complain that their publications are being read and cited, though they are theoretically losing money from it since researchers then don’t need to buy the journals to access the work) but the latter would not. We need to show them, or assure them, that the ‘system’ as such is not being abused. If nothing else lot of effort by various people has gone into creating and cataloguing papers as PDFs (especially anything older than about ten or twenty years) and this catalogue should be appreciated, not ransacked.