Electronic Journal of Systematic Biology
James_L_REVEAL at UMAIL.UMD.EDU
Tue Mar 12 05:56:00 CST 1996
For some time I have felt we need to consider taking the first steps into
the electronic journal world in a fashion that would be well considered and
fully planned by members of the systematic community. We have available to
us a wide variety of hardcopy outlets for systematic information; those via
electronic journals are few to none at the moment. This should change.
I call for the establishment of an Electronic Journal of Systematic Biology.
The journal should be a peer-reviewed, edited as would a standard journal,
and articles placed on the Web when ready to be published. Articles can be
arranged into issues, and issues into volumes. The journal would have its
own Web site. It would be housed at an institution with the equipment,
knowledge and skill available to an editoral staff as would any hardcopy
journal. Back issues would be retained on the server. There should be two
mirror sites, also with back issues. Such a journal ought to be sponsored by
one or more institutions or one or more societies - as any hardcopy journal
would be. Readers should be able to make hardcopies.
Articles can deal with any aspect of systematics, but first-time validation
of new names should be avoided. Major articles could be published with links
to other, presently existing sites that support large databases of
information or maintain large amounts of supporting data. Articles could
have associated with each "comment sections" for individuals to raise
questions, praise or critically evaluate a contribution. As was thoroughly
demonstrated on Taxacom, the final product can be excellent.
There should be sections on the journal's Web page dealing with such items
instructions to authors, list of editors, how to make a submission, review
policy, etc. much as is found currently the The World Wide Web Journal of
The systematic community is not yet at a place where it can demand changes
to the codes to allow electronic validation of names because, as yet, it is
far too early to do so. We have to demonstrate first that electronic
publishing can be done in a fashion, and with the rigor of, an established
hardcopy journal. We also have to change the academic views of some that
electronic publication is somehow less of a publication than something
printed on a page.
With the appearance of the "first" systematic paper appearing on TAXACOM,
perhaps the Missouri Botanical Garden would be willing, as an institution,
to take the lead in developing such a journal. It is time to consider the
James L. Reveal (MARY)
jr19 at umail.umd.edu
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