Academic access

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
On a previous thread, syreptyon made some some extremely helpful points. I was interested, and asked whether he/she had a source so I could read more. Even more insightfully, syreptyon mentioned that s/he did not have a peer reviewed paper, but that the info was widely held. This got me thinking: this forum is home to so many well-read, helpful chammers, why don’t we have access to scholarly articles about our passion? That is, it would shock me if some of the serious vets here wouldn’t jump at the chance of having access to scholarly papers/articles about chameleon biology, husbandry, ecology, nutrition, lighting, etc. I can just imagine some of you nuts out there (you know who you are) devouring volumes in the ongoing quest to expand your knowledge base and improve your skills. Indeed, it would be surprising if academia wouldn’t want access to some of the gems of data we’ve amassed in this informational vault we call the forums. Further still, there might even be oportunities for the more vociferous among us to contribute in academically palpable ways to the bank of Cham info.

I have no idea who runs this forum—who makes these kinds of decisions, initiates a dialogue, etc, but imagine being able to consult articles in peer reviewed journals about, say dietary evolution in insular populations of panther chams, or casque size as an indication of verility in veileds. I’m sure many of the nuts out there would love the chance to sink their teeth into some of this literature.
 

davthevieled

Avid Member
On a previous thread, syreptyon made some some extremely helpful points. I was interested, and asked whether he/she had a source so I could read more. Even more insightfully, syreptyon mentioned that s/he did not have a peer reviewed paper, but that the info was widely held. This got me thinking: this forum is home to so many well-read, helpful chammers, why don’t we have access to scholarly articles about our passion? That is, it would shock me if some of the serious vets here wouldn’t jump at the chance of having access to scholarly papers/articles about chameleon biology, husbandry, ecology, nutrition, lighting, etc. I can just imagine some of you nuts out there (you know who you are) devouring volumes in the ongoing quest to expand your knowledge base and improve your skills. Indeed, it would be surprising if academia wouldn’t want access to some of the gems of data we’ve amassed in this informational vault we call the forums. Further still, there might even be oportunities for the more vociferous among us to contribute in academically palpable ways to the bank of Cham info.

I have no idea who runs this forum—who makes these kinds of decisions, initiates a dialogue, etc, but imagine being able to consult articles in peer reviewed journals about, say dietary evolution in insular populations of panther chams, or casque size as an indication of verility in veileds. I’m sure many of the nuts out there would love the chance to sink their teeth into some of this literature.
I believe there actually is some stuff out there...

@Chris Anderson @jannb might definitely have some more info.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
You won't find much info out there based on real research. Who's going to spend the money to study chameleons? I don't mean that to sound rude either, I would love it, just being honest about the situation. Your best bet is reading stuff by petr necas. The best we can do is piece together random things about reptiles, nutrition, etc and apply it to chameleons. Personally, I have no problem taking advice from somebody that has been successful keeping these animals for long periods of time. To me, that's arguably more valuable than what a lot of researchers would be capable of.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree wholeheartedly about practical wisdom. However, I have absolutely no doubt that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of graduate theses about, for instance, mating rituals of Senegal chameleons, or the relationship between spotted patterns of carpet chams to their sexual prowess, etc. Indeed, I’d be surprised if there weren’t at least ten biologists I. The field right now studying, if not just chams, then reptiles of Madagascar.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree wholeheartedly about practical wisdom. However, I have absolutely no doubt that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of graduate theses about, for instance, mating rituals of Senegal chameleons, or the relationship between spotted patterns of carpet chams to their sexual prowess, etc. Indeed, I’d be surprised if there weren’t at least ten biologists I. The field right now studying, if not just chams, then reptiles of Madagascar.
Fair enough, I guess I'm thinking of it in a different way. My thoughts are more on things to do with captive husbandry, breeding, etc... which petr necas seems to be at the forefront with. When he comes out with something new it tends to blow up around here. I'd be surprised if someone was doing similar work as him, that it wouldn't do the same.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
From my limited understanding there isn’t much scientific research about chameleons because reasearch is usually don’t through grants. In order to study chameleons you would have to be able to relate it to another subject that whoever is giving you the grant money would approve of.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m gonna look around the academic community, and see who’s doing what. Thanks for the info about Petr necas, I’ll have a look.
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
I'm not completely sure what it is you are suggesting, so maybe you can clarify.

With regard to what chameleon related research is out there and published, there is a fair bit of research published in scientific journals every year on chameleons, but there aren't a ton of us doing research on chameleons, so it isn't a ton. The vast majority of these publications are copyrighted by the publishers, so not available open access and could not be legally re-posted on the forums (aside from a link). Some older work is available open access and you can often find PDFs of papers from the authors, but it is spread out so you have to know what you're looking for to find it. I have thousands of chameleon-related scientific papers in my research library, but again most aren't things I can just post somewhere for everyone because of copyrights. If you're just looking for a way to keep current on what is published in the scientific literature on chameleons, the IUCN/SSC Chameleon Specialist Group posts updates on their Facebook Page every time a new chameleon related article is published in the scientific literature: https://www.facebook.com/IUCNchameleons/

If you are talking about hobbyists producing scientific papers on chameleons based on their experiences, this is possible, but generally only if the highest quality of hypothesis testing and controls are performed when doing the work. Herpetological Review, for instance, has a Herpetoculture section that hobbyists could submit articles to. There are also smaller society journals that often publish captive observation stuff from hobbyists.

What is it you are suggesting?

Chris
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
What I had in mind was access to online databases that contain various peer reviewed journals like what universities have. Academic institutions carry subscriptions to many journals that are often gathered together into several large data bases like JSTOR. What I was thinking was that feelers could be put out to the Cham community to see how many folks would be willing to pay a nominal subscription fee to have access to such databases. Of course, individuals can do this on their own, but the fees are doubtless higher. I just thought that Cham forums could probably get a better deal. Members could have the option of signing up to have access and paying a fee. It wouldn’t be mandatory or anything, just an option for those who are interested.

Anyways, thanks so much for your response, I’ll check out Facebook.
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Unfortunately, I don't think this would be a feasible option from the standpoint of cost. Chameleon-related research is not published in any one specific journal, but rather comes out in dozens upon dozens of different journals every year. Some of those are all managed by the larger publishers (JSTOR, Elsevier, etc.), but many are not. Regardless, subscriptions to these journals are incredibly expensive when you start talking about access to multiple journals, and institutional subscriptions (which is what ChameleonForums would qualify as since it is multiple users/downloads) cost more than an individual subscription (although less than if each individual at the institution bought their own membership).

For instance, a single year subscription for an institution to the journals from the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), which publishes Herpetological Review and the Journal of Herpetology, costs $245, or $125 if you just want Herpetological Review. That is actually a bargain, but again, only a small subset of articles will be directly relevant to chameleon enthusiasts, and it would not alone contain anything but a small fraction of the articles published every year on chameleons (and possibly none, depending on the year). If you wanted a subscription to ZooTaxa, which is where many new species descriptions are published, that will cost you $6,000 a year, and maybe would have a handful of chameleon-related publications in a good year. A subscription to multiple journals through one of the larger publishers is astronomically expensive and only makes sense if the members of that institution are actively utilizing those articles to produce further output, which is why only universities tend to have them, and why many universities have fairly limited scope in their subscriptions.

Chris
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you so much for your response, and your obvious leg work here. A pipe dream, I suppose. Thanks again for looking into this; it is very much appreciated.
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Unfortunately, the profit/business model the scientific journals are built on is pretty unbelievable. There has started to be a fair bit of push back from universities and funding agencies, which is good, but there is still a long way to go before it is a reasonable model. As it is now, Federal Funds (from tax dollars) often pay for research to be performed, researchers often have to pay publishing fees (page fees, color figure fees, typesetting fees, etc.) to the journals for them to publish the articles, researchers review submitted articles for free as a service (because their own articles will need to be reviewed as well when they submit, so they have to return the favor), and then the publishers typically charge incredible subscription fees for other researchers, universities or the public to access it, even though those some individuals have paid for every step of the process. Fortunately, more and more work is being published in open access journals or journals that become open access after a year or so.

Chris
 
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