[Taxacom] Proposed ICZN amendments on electronic publishing

Richard Petit r.e.petit at worldnet.att.net
Wed Dec 3 17:07:41 CST 2008


There was minimum discussion about peer review, the bottom line being, as always, that it is not practical.  

As for the on-line only publishing, it will be terrible for many reasons.  Servers go down, lightning strikes, whatever - it is entirely possible that all papers published on-line could be lost.  Then there is the question of knowing about availability, indexing, cataloguing, etc.  Unfortunately all that probably does not matter.  All of the talk about having this approved by the Commision appears to be a smoke screen as it is already a "done deal."  A paleontological journal published out of the BM(NH) [THE Natural History Museum] publishes on-line months before a paper copy is available with replacement names, etc., out there for anyone to use (and possibly preempt the authors). Correspondence with the journal indicates that they think it is reasonable for them to do so.

The telling item, however, is that a former Commissioner, now a member of the I.T.Z.N. (the group that owns the I.C.Z.N.) recently published a book in which he stated about electronic publication that "paper copies can follow on at a leisurely pace, because priority will have been established."   

If the I.T.Z.N. believes that publication on line establishes priority, it seems certain that a Code item to justify it is on the way despite what individual systematists might desire.

dick p.

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