article 8.1.1. ICZN and registration

Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Fri Aug 2 10:37:30 CDT 2002

I've been out of town, which is why I haven't chimed in here yet.
Actually, Richard Pyle has managed to post, almost point for point,
many things I posted here back on May 30th. Since some people may not
have seen that exchange, I'll reiterate some pertinent follow-up

Ingo Schindler wrote:

>What do you think about my plan to damn this description by article 8.1.1.
>ICZN and to call the community not to use this taxon name (to protect that it
>is not become available by use)? Or how such behaviour can be stopped?


>2) The registration of new species is not necessary, if all would use the
>ICZN and all recommendations carefully. And in my point of view its dangerous
>too, since it could be that a clique may reject all taxa, which are published
>by persons who are not a member of the group.

Ron Gatrelle similarly wrote:

>This is what I see you doing - trying to be responsible after the
>fact of "publication" by assessing that which was produced against the

Here's what I wrote - in response to *exactly* these two points, back
on June 7th:

"Check back a few postings to see the system I was suggesting should
replace the current one. Let me repeat it and clarify it: all new
names would be published via a single source, both electronic and
hardcopy. Publication would be free, registration of names automatic,
and viewing would be free. Authors would all be anonymous, reviews
would all be public, open to EVERYONE in the scientific community.
This does not qualify as "interference of an outside authority" nor
would such a review process lead to "arbitrary decisions". The
criteria for validity would therefore be those of the present Codes
plus the sole additional requirements that they be published in this
one venue, and in English - thereby guaranteeing the integrity (no
more vanity publishing), accountability (no more anonymous reviews),
and accessibility (no more hunting through a hundred journals, or
having to read a hundred languages) of all new taxonomic works. That
seems pretty straightforward to me. There is no "regulation and
registration of names by an entity outside the taxonomic community"
in this scenario: names are regulated and registered BY TAXONOMISTS."

You see? You won't have to worry about tracking down names in hobby
journals because there will be no more names in ANY journals outside
the one official journal in which all new names are published. No
more after-the-fact decisions about which publications meet the
Codes, which do not: all the decision-making about whether a
description or revision is worthwhile is made BEFORE it gets
published, because the entire taxonomic community (and not some tiny
and biased set of reviewers) sees it BEFORE it gets published. This
makes it IMPOSSIBLE for a "clique" to form. All reviews are public,
so even if a clique exists and has some irrational grudge against
someone, they can't sink the publication (irrational condemnation
will be obvious to everyone reading the reviews), nor can someone
slip some worthless trash in because their personal friends comprise
the review board. Of course, there will always be incompetent people
whose work is rejected because of its inherent lack of merit, and
obviously nothing will satisfy such a person that they haven't been
conspired against. But better to reject such works before they become
set in stone, rather than allowing them to be published and *then*
ignored or reduced to synonymy. Isn't a system which prevents bad
science from being published better than one where criticism and
evaluation has to be done after the fact, Ron?

I'm entirely with Richard on all this. I have yet to see one genuine,
substantive, uncounterable criticism of the registration system
concept. Any problem you can imagine, we can work out a simple
solution for it.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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