About Foram Refs

Our pursuit of referencing foraminifera

The ever-increasing number of publications on the foraminifera makes a review of the literature a nearly impossible task. The mainstream micropaleontological journals such as the Journal of Foraminiferal Research, Micropaleontology, Marine Micropaleontology, the Journal of Micropaleontology, the Journal of Micropaleontology, and Revista Espanola de Micropaleontologia continue to be the main source of citations and references.

Other major outlets for micropalaeontological papers include the American Geophysical Union's bimonthly journal Paleoceanography, founded in 1986; and SEPM's Palaios, founded in 1985. A permanent tendency during the past decade has been a reduction in the numbers of micropalaeontological papers published in the established geological and petroleum geological journals in favour of the new micropalaeontological journals. Increasingly, studies on the foraminifera are beginning to appear in biological and oceanographical literature. A significant proportion of papers are published in books and occasional publications. These include the series of BENTHOS conferences, the proceedings of the international workshops on agglutinated foraminifera (IWAF), the British Micropalaeontological Society (BMS) book series, and volumes published under the auspices of the European and African Micropaleontological Colloquiums. The latter volumes are often published independently or in various existing journals - and do not appear in either the computerised databases, Geological Abstracts, or in the Science Citation Index.

The first stage of compiling this data base was to search all variations of the word "foraminifera" in a computerised data base compiled by the Institute for Scientific Information Inc.. This search yielded about 100 references for a given year. The Bibliography and Index of Geology (1969-present) "GEOREFS" was a good source of citations, but this search mainly duplicated the search of the ISI data base. "GEOREFS" compiles a rather limited selection of journals, abstract volumes, books, and dissertations - apparently at random. A comparison of the ISI and "GEOREFS" data bases yielded about 10 additional references for a given year. Another source of citations was EASI, the AGU Earth and Space Index. This gave citations from the AGU journals "Paleoceanography", "Tectonics", and "Oceanology, English Translation".

There are several problems associated with doing a computerised data search for publications on the subject of Foraminifera. First, such a search will only find papers that have the key words "Foraminifera", "Foraminifers", or "Foraminiferida" in the title of the paper. Unfortunately, many authors forget to use this key word. Secondly, many of the journals used by Micropaleontologists are not listed in the on-line data bases.

Finally, many articles appear as chapters in books, in and various Geological Survey publications, open file reports, or as special publications which do not appear in any of the on-line data bases. A listing of articles contained in occasional books and conference proceedings volumes is especially difficult to compile. In an effort to make this bibliography as complete as possible, we compiled references from European journals that are not included in any abstract volume or database.


Another good source of references on the Foraminifera is the Recent Literature section of the Journal of Foraminiferal Research. This quarterly column is far from being complete, because at present it is simply a haphazard inventory of the journals and reprints that people send to the Todd Library at the Smithsonian Institution. However, it is useful because a few foraminiferal workers regularly send reprints to be listed in the column, which makes it a good source for the odd obscure item or occasional publication.


I am grateful to several people who have kindly assisted with the compilation of this data base. John Evans ran the data base searches on BIDS; George Dumitrescu, Sarita Mahar, and Valerie Bonhomme assisted with the typing; Glen Homeier downloaded all the GEOREFS searches. Jaroslaw Tyszka assisted with the compilation of Polish references. Sorin Filipescu put the information on the Web site.

Plea for Help

We realise that FORAMREFS is still woefully incomplete, and that it may simply be impossible to compile a complete bibliography of the Foraminiferida. However, this compilation is a reasonable first step, and we are continually adding new entries to it. New versions of the list will be made available at a future date. If one of your papers is missing from the list, don't forget to send us the full citation. If you find this data base useful, there is one thing you can do - send a set of your own reprints to the Grzybowski Library.