new descriptions

Robert Mill R.Mill at RBGE.ORG.UK
Wed Nov 22 18:20:10 CST 1995

Dominique Collet's posting raises some interesting points. I already
use standard templates for preparing plant descriptions. I have
several different versions: a general one applicable for most
angiosperm families, and tailormade ones for my speciality families
(Boraginaceae, Scrophulariaceae). They are only partially computer-
generated; the information still has to be filled in by hand on to
the standard forms. They are useful for ensuring that all characters
and all plant parts (organism parts) get studied and described.

However, the present International Code of Bot. Nomenclature only
allows publication of new taxa in printed form - not electronic.
Electronic publication of new taxa sounds a wonderful idea but it
could only take place after such time as the Code was altered to
allow electronic publication. Any names published electronically now
would a) be invalidly published and b) be at the author's own risk
because of the great danger of another author coming along,
retrieving the invalid name from the net, and publishing it under
his/her own name without attribution to the person that put the name
on the net in the first place. Also, how long would a name or
description be available on the net? A printed description lasts for
hundreds of years, i.e. is permanent. Unless new taxa were regularly
deleted from the net, the net would eventually get so cluttered with
new names etc. that the servers would become overloaded!! (Even
allowing for a hundred or more years of evolution in computer

      (Dr) ROBERT R MILL
      Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
      20a Inverleith Row, EDINBURGH EH3 5LR, SCOTLAND, U.K.

      Electronic Mail:   R.Mill at OR robert at
      Telephone:         + 44 131 552 7171 exts. 240 or 449
      Facsimile:         + 44 131 552 0382


More information about the Taxacom mailing list