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CONTAINING ITS TRANSACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS,
AND A RECORD OF CURRENT RESEARCHES RELATING TO
Edited, under the direction of the Publication Committee, by
The substantial increase during the present year in the finances of the Society, has rendered it possible to increase the quantity of matter in the Journal, and it is hoped it will be found to be improved in quality also.
In addition to the “TRANSACTIONS” and “PROCEEDINGS” of the Society, the “ BIBLIOGRAPHY and “RECORD” now form a large part of each number. The former provides a classified Index, in English, to the contents
of upwards of three hundred British and Foreign Scientific Journals and Transactions," whilst the latter consists of abstracts of or extracts from the more important of the articles noted in the Bibliography.
The object of this part of the Journal is to meet a wish which has been for many years expressed by the Fellows—not only those resident in the country, to whom the Library is less accessible, but those in London also—that steps should be taken for obviating to some extent the difficulty that has hitherto existed (owing to thě great development in modern times of Periodical Scientific Literature) in ascertaining what is being done by Biologists of this and other countries.
Whilst the Annual Records published in this country and abroad (all of which are to be found in the Library) are invaluable as books of reference beyond anything to which a Journal issued bi-monthly could attain, the feeling has been that a more readable account of the results of research would be useful, and, if possible, one not so much out of date. As an instance, Mr. Geddes' very interestsng researches on Chlorophyll in the Green Planariæ may be referred to. In ordinary course a more or less brief reference to this observation would appear in the Annual Summaries of the second (in a few cases the first) year after its announcement. It is obviously very desirable that the Fellows should, in such a case,
* In a memorial recently presented to Professor E. Coues, of the United States, signed by Professors Flower and Huxley, Mr. Darwin, and others, the memorialists say: "The want of indexes to the ever-increasing mass of 200logical literature has long been felt by all workers in every department of science, but the enormous labour of compilation has hitherto deterred many from undertaking a task so appalling."
be in possession of fuller and earlier information of the author's views.*
As the Society's domain includes the Invertebrata and the Cryptogamia generally, with the Embryology and Histology of the higher Animals and Plants, and Microscopy (properly so called), the Bibliography and Record extend to those subjects also.
The difficulty that has hitherto prevented a nearer approach to completeness in the Bibliography—that of perfecting arrangements at short notice for obtaining ready access to all the Journals and Transactions which it is intended ultimately to include—is now, it is hoped, in a fair way to be overcome.
With regard to the Record, the matter stands on a different footing, the greater or less completeness in this case necessarily depending upon the Society's finances. Whilst the fullest use has been made of the means at command, the result falls short of what it is hoped will ultimately be accomplished. It requires, however, a larger expenditure than the Society can at present prudently devote to that purpose.
It will have been obvious that the production of the later numbers of the Journal was beyond the powers of any one person (at least when the only time that could be devoted to it was by way of relaxation from engagements having a primary claim); and the Society have been
fortunate in obtaining the assistance of Mr. T. Jeffery Parker, Mr. A. W. Bennett, and Professor F. Jeffrey Bell, to whose ability and energy the success of what has been accomplished is very largely due. As their share in the
production of the Journal is now so important, their names will in future be associated with it.
An acknowledgment is also due to the Publication Committee (consisting of Dr. Braithwaite, Dr. Millar, Mr. Stephenson, and Mr. Stewart) for much care bestowed on the revision of the Record, and for many suggestions which have contributed to the improvement of the Journal.
* Whilst we fully recognize the compliment that is involved in the transfer of the foreign abstracts of the Record to other pages, and the exceptional appreciation evinced by referring to the original foreign source only (the editor evidently intending thereby to show that he is prepared to take the responsibility of having the abstracts attributed to himself), it would, on the whole, we suggest, be better to adhere to the rule which we uniformly observe, of giving both sources in the reference note.
ROYAL MICROSCOPICAL SOCIETY.
TRANSACTIONS OF THE SOCIETY.
1.-On Ecistes umbella and other Rotifers.
(Read 11th December, 1878.)
PLATES I. AND II. This remarkable new species was discovered by Mr. F. Oxley last June in a pond at Snaresbrook. Mr. Oxley was
so kind as to send me several specimens, but I was unfortunately prevented from giving them all the attention they so well deserved ; and though I made some sketches of this Ecistes, I was unable to investigate its structure and habits in the way that I should have wished to do.
It is a large handsome species, and the specimens sent to me had made their clay-coloured fluffy homes on the leaves and in the axils of a sphagnum. The tubes, if I may call such loose structures by so precise a name, resemble those of the rotifer I described as Melicerta tyro; but which I think had better be
EXPLANATION OF THE PLATES.
2.-Disk of E. umbella.
2.-An individual. a, spermatozoa on ovary; b, extremity of anus.