Editorial - GCNEWS, Vol. 8, August 1998


A Newsletter for Galactic Center Research
This Volume was edited by Angela Cotera & Heino Falcke
email: gcnews@aoc.nrao.edu

Volume 8, August 1998 - EDITORIAL

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EDITORIAL: News from GCNEWS and GC98

Angela Cotera & Heino Falcke

Electronic Libraries

The number of electronic newsletters which cover astronomical research are growing rapidly. Well established newsletters of institutions and telescopes are also starting to rely more and more on the electronic medium, while new subject oriented newsletters, like GCNEWS, are being added to the pool of publications. Librarians are keeping pace with the trend towards electronic publishing and have started to catalog the available resources. Liz Bryson from the CFHT library, not only maintains an exceptionally good library website but also has a webpage of Electronic Publications (http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/~bryson/epubs.html) featuring such newsletters as your own GCNEWS. Similarly, Sarah Stevens-Rayburn at the STScI library (http://sesame.stsci.edu/lib/abstract.html) also has a good electronic publication reference page. Both of these examples, by the way, illustrate that the job of the librarian will be changing drastically within the next few years through the advent of the `` electronic library''.

GCNEWS featured in ADS

Another step in this direction (at least for GCNEWS) is the agreement we reached with the ADS project - which we are certain all of you now use as a precious tool in literature research. Within the next few weeks we will be able to submit the articles (not the abstracts) that have appeared in GCNEWS to ADS where they will be included in the database and available through the usual queries. The database entries will also be linked to our website and hence GCNEWS articles will be electronically as available as are ApJ articles or other ``normal'' articles. GCNEWS will also get its own 'bibcode': GCN.

We believe that this will benefit everyone. The authors of the articles and abstracts which appear in GCNEWS will know that their work receives the widest possible distribution and interested researchers will find it easier to locate up to date information on a certain field. In this way, the GC community will be opening up to those with new interest in exciting developments concerning the heart of the Milky Way. (As an additional perk, perhaps this will provide even more motivation for new authors to volunteer and to follow the excellent example set by those who have already written articles for GCNEWS). Perhaps this is a good point to remind our readers that we are always open for suggestions for short articles, not only reviews and conference summaries, but also short research notes that otherwise would not make it into published literature.

GC Workshop 1998: The Central Parsecs

GC98 is currently at capacity and we have a long waiting list of people who would like to attend but cannot due to space constraints (the room is just not big enough). In this case the deadline really turned out to be a hard limit and as indicated in the very first announcement--here in GCNEWS--we also had to focus solely on the topic of the workshop ``The Central X Parsecs'' by reducing X such that the number N of participants became smaller than 60. Perhaps we can inverse this criterion the next time and only accept papers where X is much larger than 10 (volunteers to organize GC99 or GC2000 wanted!). The small room size and number of participants was chosen in the initial planing phase in order to create an intimate setting as is required for extensive discussion sessions.

The conference itself is not only organized by GCNEWS, but jointly with a number of other institutions in Tucson, Heidelberg, and Bonn. The program which you will find at the end of this issue promises a very exciting and dynamic workshop. Thanks go out to all who are including their work and apologies go out to those we have been unable to accomodate. The conference proceedings will be published in the ASP Conf. Ser. with very relaxed page limits and conference abstracts will appear in a special issue of GCNEWS. We also will make preprints of submitted papers available once they are submitted. A summary of the workshop highlights is also planned.

This Issue

Since the last volume of GCNEWS, we have been inundated with abstracts from all over the world. We have a record 25 abstracts which have been submitted or accepted to refereed journals in this issue and are pleased to see collegues from Russia utilizing this service. It has been just over two years since we first began this newsletter with the idea that we could improve communications between Galactic Center researchers if only we had a way to quickly learn of research going on throughout the field. Although we established the framework, it is the contributions from our subscribers that have made GCNEWS a success. By subscribing to and using the service, you have helped to keep all of us informed of the latest research in the Galactic Center. We now let the abstracts do most of the talking. Well, the abstracts and Farhad Yusef-Zadeh who has written an excellent article for this issue on the recent successes in exploring the GC using 1720 MHz Masers and the way in which they have allowed us to expand our understanding of a number of processes within the GC. It is a pleasure to read and we hope you enjoy it.

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