First, apologies for the late arrival of the second Palaeontologia Electronica issue of 2001. We hope to get back to our regular publishing schedule this year. There were many reasons for the delay, foremost among them being the complexity of two of the technical articles. However, we hope you'll agree with us that the final product was well worth the wait.
In this issue, the PE staff realize a long hoped for demonstration of the efficacy of the electronic publishing format for the presentation of systematic paleontology. Palaeontologia Electronica 4.2 presents two examples of this – Tim Patterson and colleagues' atlas of common fish scales from British Columbia and the Ann Holbourn-Andy Henderson taxonomic revision of selected deep-sea benthic foraminifera. These monograph-sized works are both included in a single issue and have been produced using copious illustrations, many in full color. In addition, their attractive innovative formats (both in html and pdf versions) add an important dimension of user-friendliness that simply cannot be matched in the print medium. Add this to equally innovative articles on fossil compaction analyses (by Maurizio Gnoli) and the origin of life (by Joe Kirschvink and Ben Weiss), our regular editorial by Jere Lipps, and a raft of new book reviews and we think you'll agree that Palaeontologia Electronica 4.2 represents another milestone passed for paleontological publishing.
In addition to these innovations, there have been some behind-the scenes changes as PE as well. With this issue we welcome Ben Waggoner as our new Book Reviews Editor where his talents at juggling, fire-eating, unicycling, and stilt-walking (see Ben's biography in the 'Staff' section) are sure to make him well suited to the tasks. A very warm welcome to Ben. Our former Book Reviews Editor, Whitey Hagadorn (sans jellyfish) will be moving up to join me in the Editor's chair with PE 5.1.
Dr. Norman MacLeod
Keeper of Palaeontology
The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
Copyright: Palaeontologia Electronica,
31 January 2002