NATURE to save taxonomy!

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Thu Jun 6 10:30:31 CDT 2002

The lead editorial in Nature today is entitled "Genomics and taxonomy for

And to quote the key line:

"The great fragmentation of taxonomic publication has contributed to
taxonomy's parlous state. Taxonomy would benefit from a high-profile,
centralized repository of nomenclature."

So starting 1 August 2002 Nature will require "the authors of any paper
containing the formal nomenclature and description of species ... shall be
required to send a preprint to the Linnean Society of London ..."

And because "Another ill that besets taxonomy is the inability of
taxonomists to forge united initiatives. This is why our action as a journal
is unilateral."

And because of Nature's status as a leader, the Linnean Society will now be
THE depository for documentation of species!

Some how my conclusion is that Nature must be a taxonomist as its action
just creates another player, in the same game that the Zoological Record,
Index Kewiense? (sorry I am not a botanist), Species2000, ITIS, GBIF, ALL
are also trying to "forge united initiatives"

Oh, well, and it is only Thursday ...

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560-0169
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at [NB: no terminal "n"]
visit our Diptera site at

More information about the Taxacom mailing list