ITIS (an explanation of GBIF's data integration activities)

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Wed Jun 30 09:46:01 CDT 2004

Paul van Rijckevorsel wrote...
> Actually there is no 'Code-police': the Codes are followed
> voluntarily (or not)

From: Richard Pyle <deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG>
Actually, I think there is, of sorts.  The entire taxonomic community
serves as the "police" by ignoring or consistently disregarding names
that are not Code-compliant.  As such, the work of any given researcher
who voluntarily choses to ignore the Code will often detract from their
scientific reputation, rather than enhance it.

But this is true only because of the overwhelming adherence by the
taxonomic community at large.  My point in an earlier post about
revolution vs. baby steps is that if the "revolution" is too dramatic,
there is a risk that such universal conformance and respect for the
Codes may wane.

+ + +
I rather doubt that whether a name is Code-compliant determines if it is
used. People tend to use the names that other people are using, irrespective
of whether these are Code-compliant. Horticulture uses its own set of names.
One of the biology magazines, that I subscribe to, regularly uses names such
as "E.coli" and "C.elegans". There are some botanical names that are widely
used by taxonomists even though not Code-compliant, although fortunately
more and more of them are getting included in lists of conserved

Of course, if a name is flagrantly in the teeth of a Code it will set
people's teeth on edge and it WILL be disregarded, but this will be more
because of its flagrant nature than because of its non-Code-compliance?

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