Fwd: Re: FWD: Public Library of Science initiative

Markku Savela msa at BURP.TKV.ASDF.ORG
Tue Jun 26 01:12:36 CDT 2001

> From: Doug Yanega <dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU>

> To answer my own question, the only genuine problem, I think, is that
> the Code prohibits purely electronic publication of new taxon names,

And I think that is a good thing. Time is not yet ripe for electronic
only publications. Electronic documents are just too ephemeral, and
unreliable at this point (how do you know it has not been changed
after publication?). Which version is the correct one? Before jumping
into electronic only publications, there should be infrastructure and
procedures to handle at least

 - a way to prevent tampering (solution is probably in cryptographic
   signature methods)

 - guarantee that there is always multiple copies on the net, that can
   be located, so that a loss of archive(s) does not make a document

I believe new taxon names should be published on some "paper
publication", it doesn't need to be expensive publication, just so
that there are enough copies around to make forgeries hard. And, at
same time the publication could/should be made availailable in
electronic form with references to the "master copy" on paper.

This will give a chance to practice/experiment the electronic
publication solutions, without being totally lost, if it doesn't work
in practise.

Just speaking as a person who works with computers as main line, not
an taxonomist or entomologist...

Markku Savela <Markku.Savela at iki.fi>

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