18th Century mentality in the 21st Century

B. J. Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Fri Nov 16 08:28:45 CST 2001

Interesting comment - how come bacteriology manages to run registration
without ANY funding AND the central journal the International Journal of
Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology does NOT have page charges? This
journal has also existed with two earlier titles and the current publisher
was not publishing it 5 years ago. Two websites exist which have ALL the
names which are "registered" ("validly published" in the Bacteriological
Code - there are more than just two codes in the world!!). These sites are
run by people who set this up as a service for microbiologists and get ZERO
external funding! Bacteriology has pioneered the way so where is our
funding!? The reason why it works in bacteriology is because the
bacteriological systematics community is largely behind the concept and are
extremely grateful to those individuals who initiated the system and to
those (a second generation) who keep the system running.

If you want registration - and it is easy to justify a central clearing
house system - one has to put a case forward which is water tight. The case
for a central registration system - whether based on "normal printed copy"
or electronic publication - will never be taken seriously if systematics is
divided between a group who want it and a group who will simply ignore it!
Sorry to be blunt and I apologise in advance if anyone is offended, but
facts are facts!

At 15:22 15.11.2001 -0500, Panza, Robin wrote:
>That's a fine and noble thought, Doug, and I agree wholeheartedly in theory.
>But who's going to pay the bills?  The ICZN/ICBN are essentially a bunch of
>volunteers who establish policy and pass judgement in their spare time.  To
>have an organization empowered to do what you suggest will require several
>full-time (i.e., paid) staff (editors, webmasters, clerical staff), an
>internet site (computer and access, both of which cost money), supplies for
>archives, staff and supplies for upgrading those archives each time
>technology moves on, etc., etc., etc.  Who pays for all this?  The reason
>print journals have page charges and subscription charges is because it
>costs money!  Where does this money come from?  An analogy to what you
>propose would be the UMich dissertation abstracts.  Rest assured, the
>University is providing significant funds to pay for the archiving and
>dissemination of theses.  Who's going to pay for an umbrella systematics
>organization?  Government?  Sure, till they need to balance the budget next
>year.  A dedicated organization that must apply for philanthropical grants
>every year or two?  That's great, until the granting agency decides "the
>arts" need a boost this year.  A "tax" on scientists (or just biologists, or
>just systematists)?
>And if this single nomenclature "company" (I use the term loosely) goes
>belly up in a recession/depression, what happens to the data?  My
>department's library has a whole slew of issues of extinct journals, and we
>get frequent requests to borrow them to read.  The publication may be dead,
>but at least there are still copies to be read.  There are lots of
>scientific organizations that have followed (or preceded) the Passenger
>Pigeon!  What happens if we "put all our eggs in one basket", as the saying
>goes, and expect the basket to find its own funds?  One bad economic
>downturn and our archives could evaporate.
>I see this as skepticism, not as "antiquated mentality".
>Robin K Panza                         panzar at carnegiemuseums.org
>Collection Manager, Section of Birds          ph:  412-622-3255
>Carnegie Museum of Natural History       fax: 412-622-8837
>4400 Forbes Ave.
>Pittsburgh  PA  15213-4008  USA

* Dr.B.J.Tindall      E-MAIL bti at dsmz.de                           *
* DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH *
* Mascheroder Weg 1b, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany                *
* Tel.: ++ 531 2616 0 (general)                                    *
* Tel.: ++ 531 2616 224 (direct)                                   *
* Fax:  ++ 531 2616 418                                            *
* Fax:  ++ 531 2616 491 (ISDN)                                     *
*                                                                  *
* Homepage: http://www.dsmz.de/index.html                          *
* E-MAIL: help at dsmz.de (general enquiries)                         *
*         sales at dsmz.de (sales)                                    *

More information about the Taxacom mailing list