Lists of available generic names

Judy Howcroft jhowcroft at YORK.BIOSIS.ORG
Thu Jul 25 09:03:47 CDT 1996


The following has also been sent to ICZN-4.  Apologies for any

In her message of July 16 1996 Amelie Scheltema refers to
various Malacologia articles written by Bouchet and Rocroi and
responded to by Zoological Record staff.  We would like to
take this opportunity to explain our general position and
reply to a couple of specific issues raised by Amelie.

We would not deny that our coverage in the past has, for a
variety of reasons, been incomplete.  However, since BIOSIS
took over responsibility for compilation in 1980 there have
been many changes.  In particular we have introduced tighter
controls over what and how things are indexed, which we think
have significantly improved the quality of our product.

BIOSIS is a not for profit organization and our funds are
limited.  We are not, despite what is often thought, a
commercial organization in the generally accepted sense - we
do not have shareholders and any surplus revenue is used to
improve existing services or add new ones.

Within these general constraints we make every effort to make
our coverage comprehensive and greatly appreciate any help
which taxonomists can give us in identifying specific
publications which have been missed.  If systematic material
is omitted it is because we are unaware of it or because of
human error; omission is never intentional.

We welcome your comments about Zoological Record, and we want
to know about your concerns, but we ask that these be based on
what we do now, not what was done in the past.

Amelie asks whether the proposed requirement that all
publications with new names should be sent to ICZN is being
considered.  As far as we understand from the recent messages
posted by A Minelli and P Tubbs (President and Secretary of
ICZN respectively), the proposed requirement for registration
of new names in Zoological Record has been rejected.  We were
not surprised to learn this as we had, in common with many
others, foreseen several problems with applying the new
requirement as it stood.  It is not clear whether this means
that the recommendation that publications containing new names
be sent to ICZN is also rejected.

Amelie also writes '... unless anyone knows further we are
left with imperfect lists of available generic names'.  As
many of you will know it is the goal of various international
projects to produce centralized, global lists of the names of
all the world's organisms.  We are working with several of
these and also on our own inhouse files to develop lists of
names which have been referred to in the literature over the
last 20 years.  So in response to Amelie's question, while
current lists might be imperfect, there are various community
efforts to try to rectify this.

Posted on behalf of Joan Thorne, Zoological Record

Judith Howcroft                          jhowcroft at
Special Projects Manager       
Biosis UK
Garforth House, 54 Micklegate            Tel: +44 (0)1904 642816
York, England, YO1 1LF                   Fax: +44 (0)1904 612793

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