Providing information quickly and allowing users to make their own decision about what is important and necessary are the two driving forces inside AAPG publishing today.
Of course, publishing now means digital publishing and refers to AAPG's electronic program, AAPG/Datapages.
This year marks the 10th year the digital AAPG BULLETIN has been in existence -- AAPG/Datapages first posted BULLETIN articles online in 1995. BULLETIN CDs have been available since 1994.
For the past year, AAPG Active and Associate members have been able to access the entire BULLETIN archives through the Members Only area on the AAPG home page as part of the member's dues benefits.
Other notable programs defining the future of AAPG publishing include:
• AAPG's All-Digital BULLETIN.
All members are being migrated to a digital (combination of online plus CD-ROM) subscription to the BULLETIN with their dues benefits. That's the new default. For the past three years members have been able to voluntarily convert their print subscriptions to digital, and more than 7,000 have already done so. (Student members receive digital plus CD-ROM BULLETINS.)
"The savings in printing and postage have allowed us to create an improved BULLETIN," said Jim Blankenship, AAPG's geoscience director who is responsible for the publishing program at AAPG. "And the time from article submission to publication has been cut in half from historical levels.
"We are an attractive publisher for a researcher or explorationist who hasn't the time to spend on a lengthy publication process," he said.
Any Active or Associate member who still has a strong preference for the printed BULLETIN can keep the paper copies by marking the "Print" option on this year's dues statement. There is no additional cost.
Student members will not have the print option in 2005.
• Corporate Subscription or Pay-Per-View.
"Many Members don't know that our online collection far exceeds just the AAPG BULLETIN," Blankenship said. "In addition to the BULLETIN, we have about three times the material that only can be accessed either through corporate subscription or via a pay-per-view link from the AAPG Web site."
The entire online library is a collection of publications from other publishers -- not just AAPG. Currently AAPG/Datapages offers more than 145,000 published pages of articles from GCAGS, CSPG, SEPM and many other affiliated societies.
In 2005 publications will be added from the Tulsa and Fort Worth geological societies and Indonesia Petroleum Association, to name a few, plus special publications from the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists.
Because AAPG does not own all the articles in the database, AAPG/Datapages manages the program on behalf of the consortium and pays royalty money to the publishers involved. Since 1997, more than $100,000 has been paid to AAPG affiliated societies who participate in the program.
"Individuals can access this tremendous online resource either through corporate subscription or pay-per-view," said Ron Hart, AAPG/Datapages project manager. "Pay-per-view is a low-cost alternative to fixed price subscriptions that allows a user to pay only for those articles he downloads."
All articles in the database sell for $8 (abstracts are currently $2) compared to much higher prices for obtaining the same articles through document delivery services. The user fees help offset the cost of maintaining the collection online.
Access to the AAPG/Datapages Library Pay-per-view Retrieval is provided in two primary places:
(Editor's note: A member's AAPG password may not work in the AAPG Pay-Per-View Retrieval. Because the pay-per-view service is maintained by a vendor under contract to AAPG, the user must first register and create a password. Registration is free.)
• Search and Discovery Online Journal.
In addition to hosting several search functions of AAPG publications, Search and Discovery (http://www.searchanddiscovery.net) is a public-access, e-journal published by AAPG/Datapages designed for rapid publication of articles and ideas specific to exploration and production.
The site posts more than 100 new articles each year plus more than 1,000 meeting paper abstracts from AAPG regional and international meetings, rivaling the AAPG BULLETIN in the amount of material published annually.
• GIS, Mapping and Spatial Data.
AAPG's newest publishing initiative, GIS-UDRIL, begins its third year of compiling data, maps and published information into common GIS formats for Web-based delivery.
"We're following a concept that says the components of a publication -- the maps, the data, the seismic lines, etc. -- all can be published electronically in machine-readable (electronic) format, and already georeferenced for rapid loading and interpretation by a geoscientist at a workstation," Blankenship said. "This is the 'next step' in electronic publishing.
"And in the future we will want authors to submit the same maps, lines and cross sections they already publish with us, in these machine readable formats," Blankenship added.
Past AAPG president Dick Bishop is chairing an ad hoc committee on future use of spatial data in AAPG, which is charged with:
- Recognizing the state of industry use of spatial data.
- Defining an AAPG standard for labeling and formatting spatial data.
- Recommending a work process within the volunteer and staff organizations to accelerate and encourage the publication of spatial data in electronic form.
Bishop hopes the committee will recommend action in all categories by mid-2005.
AAPG/Datapages welcomes ideas and comments. Contact Ron Hart ([email protected]) for information about programs. For subscription information contact the sales and service desk at [email protected]