Electronic Registration

Ron at Ron at
Mon Nov 19 05:42:51 CST 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "B. J. Tindall" <bti at DSMZ.DE>
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2001 2:49 AM
Subject: Re: Electronic Registration

> At 11:47 16.11.2001 -0500, Ron Gatrelle wrote:
> >
> >Down side.
> >The down side is that registration does not lead to restriction  -- it
> >restriction.  Restriction overseen by human beings is called control.
> >convenience is directly related to more control -- control yielded to a
> >dictatorial authority.   Moving away from a Code that merely regulates
> >nomenclatural process - but leaves thought, research, systematics alone
> >fraught with pitfalls totally related to the natural ego and corrupt
> >tendencies of human beings.  Power still corrupts and absolute power
> >corrupts absolutely.  It is a high myth of academia that somehow
> >eliminates "sin" - the base prejudices and delusions of the human soul
> >greed for power and control. Talk of a registration per this statement
> >Doug is alarming to me.
> Well yes and no:
> All codes are restrictive in that you can't publish just anything - you
> can't reuse the same name for a different type if that name is still in
> use. There are already restrictions which are there to serve a defined
> purpose. The present system in zoology and botany operates around a
> of "I have published a new name - now you try and find it."

Yes, and this is fine.  Restriction by a Code driven process, not by a
single universal Agency - which not only registers but decides what is
worth (by their post publication review) to be included in the registry.

> All registration requires is that one notify the scientific community
that a
> name has been published which comforms to the appropriate code. Creating

I support this fully.  The ICZN strongly "recomends" registration with the
zoological record.  (A copy of every paper we publish is sent to them.)
If publishers and authors have not/ are not doing this, then it would seem
to only be a matter of making this a requirement of publication - rather
than the establishment of an elite registration agency.

> central list and publishing such names on a website makes access easier.
> Someone has to administer such a site, which means that one has to rely
> a "central body".
> In your e-mail you also mention that review can cause problems - I see
> similar problems developing in microbiology, but this is a case of
> education. David Hull in his "Science as a Process" documented the
> situation. I do not see that problems at the review stage should stop
> registration - sit on the reviewers and editors, don't take it out on
> registration - your quarrel is with the way taxonomy is being practised,
> not with the goal of listing all names in use - these are two different
> aspects, although I appreciate your point!

Well put - don't blame the donkey for the broken cart.  When we have put
reviewers and authors in contact it puts pressure on both to perform.  An
author can contact the reviewer and ask what the hold up is if a paper has
just been laying around the reviewer's office for 6 months with no action.
The reviewer can contact the author and say what the heck did you mean by
this.  Email makes this possible as never before.  The end result is a more
quickly produced and better technical paper.  However, what I understood
Doug to be calling for was  _not_ just a system that only registered names
post original publication, but the creation of an agency that would conduct
post publication reviews and then register only what passed its muster and
paid the required fees.  Hopefully, I misunderstood him.  If so, I'm sorry
for all the fuss.  But if not, then I will say again that such a system is
elitist and alarming to me.


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