California State University Dominguez Hills
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Innovative or improved ways of doing things; More equitable access to technology or electronic information
Why I support the development of an International Data Network.
by Oliver Seely, California State University Dominguez Hills
The incidents I’m going to relate below are things that would never have happened if the Internet were not available to me. Though bordering on the trivial, and perhaps not the kinds of things that would look good in a proposal, they still represent a lively and certainly not unproductive experimentation with the new world of electronic information transmission.
In my course Science and Technology I cover a unit about midway through the semester on Controversy in Science. For several years I have been following the debate about the Cause(s) of AIDS. There is a group of 40 virologists (now including Luc Montagnier, the discoverer of HIV) who have advanced a compelling argument that there is not yet adequate evidence that HIV is the sole cause of AIDS and perhaps not a cause at all. Journal articles on this subject would be at best difficult to obtain by conventional means, first because I teach in a liberal arts university that does not subscribe to many of the medically oriented journals in which these articles appear, and second because the dispute spills over into many different journals, newspapers and magazines.
A couple of years ago I discovered CARL (The Colorado Alliance of Research Librarians) and its service UnCover, a competitor to Current Contents. I can use the service from a standard PC with communications port and it offers powerful keyword search algorithms. It has a singular advantage over the version of Current Contents to which I have access: I can get FAX delivery of an article. The service isn’t free; one has either to have a renewable account number, or alternatively, one can enter a Master Card or Visa number for delivery. My half-dozen or so requests up to the present time have arrived at the Department FAX machine within 24 hours.