Observatories and Research Facilities for EUropean Seismology
Volume 1, no 1 January 1999 Orfeus Newsletter

Why an ORFEUS Electronic Newsletter?

Torild van Eck1, Bernard Dost1, Ota Kulhanek2 and Winfried Hanka3
1 ORFEUS, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, Netherlands
2 Geophysical Department, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
3 GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), Potsdam, Germany

The last two years the ORFEUS activities have been expanding considerably due to, among others, a decision by the ORFEUS board of directors to invest in an additional half-time position and proposals by the Executive Committee to start a number of working groups.

Since 1996 ORFEUS has been investing on being accessible by internet. Presently, most of its activities can be followed on its web site. Further, its working groups maintain inventories and other utilities for the benefit of the global seismological scientific community, and specifically for those within the European-Mediterranean area. Many activities are organised within these working groups and we plan to report on these in the Newsletter.

Although the web pages provide an ideal medium for rapid dissemination of both data and information it remains inefficient in keeping potential users informed about recent changes and new information and/or data. Keeping ORFEUS participants up-to-date is one argument for the announcements and news published in the electronic newsletter.

Most important are the rapid developments in the region with respect to data acquisition. Many seismograph networks are presently updated, a number of mobile seismograph projects have been initialised and the International Monitoring System (IMS) is installing the global verification network. Presently, no medium exists in which many of these developments are reported to the seismological community within our region. Therefore we plan to publish regularly articles about new developments at the different networks in Europe, the Mediterranean and its surroundings.

The Orfeus Data Center and other data centers are rapidly accumulating large amounts of waveform data. This requires new methods of accessing, searching and processing the data. Also here the Newsletter intends to publish relevant articles.

We have decided on an Electronic Newsletter to reduce publishing cost and time to a minimum and to complement our www efforts. A printed Newsletter would require additional funds for producing, printing and distribution, and usually introduces a delay between production and reader availability. We will distribute by e-mail only the first (html) page with the contents and leave it to the reader to retrieve and print the articles, news-items and announcements at their own convenience.

This electronic publication is experimental, therefore, we would appreciate your comments and suggestions. The intention is to publish four Newsletters this year and then evaluate its impact. Furthermore, in order to enable others to refer to articles, we: a) number the volumes and 'virtual' pages and b) keep the complete volumes available and accessible on the ORFEUS web site.

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