There was a time when, many months (or even some years) after the work was done, the results of our research efforts would see the light of day in this form. Nowadays I haven’t handled actual physical journals in a while. At most I’ll look up specific articles through our library’s electronic subscription to the corresponding publisher, assuming of course that it actually holds one. Usually, though, I’ll have seen the content of the paper as an electronic pre-print publication by the article authors themselves, either on a pre-print server like arXiv, or on the website of the author or their institution. The length of time it takes for the articles to see the light of day after the review process, though, hasn’t changed much. To side-step this, many researchers will just publish their pre-print version while the articles is still under review. Given how quickly technology research moves, this makes it much easier for other researchers interested in the area to build on this work.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when I received a physical copy of our no-longer-recent article in the IEEE Transactions on Magnetics. We usually just get an electronic version of the article as printed. Even conferences have long ago abandoned the idea of handing out proceedings in physical form. That was replaced by CD/DVD, and quickly by the ubiquitous USB drives. I felt I had to celebrate the occasion by taking some photos of the artifact. As I was in my office, I didn’t have my camera with me, so instead used the Sony α850 full-frame camera with its Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 lens. It all worked our rather appropriately for a throwback post, don’t you think?