So, I didn’t dismiss the invitation out of hand. I asked a lot of questions about the project, looked up the Ecology Editorial Board , realized that there were lots of recognizable names, and that this was definitely something that respected colleagues were participating in. Plus, I immediately recognized, after reading David Gibson’s Succession bibliography , that these resources were something I would use – especially since they were intended to be living documents that could be updated as frequently as needed. We live in a time in which we are “data rich” but “information poor”. Who do you know who is actually able to keep up with the literature? If you are like me, you have 300 pdfs of unread journal papers in a file on your desktop, which just might be important for your research.
But, the main reason that I said “yes” was simply that I was on a year’s sabbatical, and was heading off to spend three months at Zoology in Oxford University. Being asked to pick out 100-150 of the key writings in Grazing Ecology and write something about them was going to be a mammoth task. But, I was going to be sitting in one of the best libraries on the planet , able to lay my hands on just about anything I would need.