Outlets for alpha taxonomy

W.Wuster w.wuster at BANGOR.AC.UK
Fri Jan 18 15:16:19 CST 2002

Bill Shear wrote:

> I'm finding that there are fewer and fewer outlets for the publication of
> papers that consist mostly of descriptions of new taxa.  It seems that most
> of the ones that are left are proprietary journals of the larger museums.
> Not that there's anything wrong with that; I'm a research associate of AMNH
> and VMNH and so have access to their series.  But I would like to find other
> places that would gladly, not grudgingly, accept alpha taxonomic papers.

> I find this somewhat incongruent with the large amount of attention being
> given to laments about how little we know of the contents of biological
> world.

The three word explanation for this is almost certainly "Citation Impact
Factor" - most species descriptions do not accrue a high number of
citations, and therefore dilute a journal's citation impact factor. Since
there is bound to be some relationship between impact factor and number of
institutional subscribers, this will always be in the mind of editorial

Having said that, I am pleased to say that in my discipline (Herpetology),
the major herp journals still seem happy to take species descriptions.



Dr. Wolfgang W├╝ster  -  Lecturer
School of Biological Sciences    Tel: +44 1248 382301
University of Wales              Fax: +44 1248 371644
Bangor LL57  2UW                 E-mail: w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk
Wales, UK                        http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/

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