[Taxacom] Proposed ICZN amendments on electronic publishing

Dr. David Campbell amblema at bama.ua.edu
Thu Dec 4 13:13:17 CST 2008

My first post conflated two aspects of "quality control" such as peer 
review-assessing quality, and whether there is any attempt at review.

I don't think it is practical for the Commission to try to assess how 
good every paper is.  However, I do think it would be reasonable to 
include a requirement for names to have peer review before they are 
legal.  This doesn't stop someone from finding a few friends to provide 
sympathetic review, or even falsely claiming to have gotten review, but 
it would provide a constraint.  The present wording seems to allow me 
to simply put a bunch of new taxa into a file online as long as I send 
the names into the official registration, format and distribute the 
file appropriately, and follow the regulations about type designations, 

Given all the stuff that goes online, there seems to also be a very 
real risk of inadvertent publication of names.  Having the requirement 
of peer review would be another control-someone who is just putting 
information on the web would be unlikely to accidentally insert a 
statement about it being peer-reviewed for taxonomic purposes.

Standard journals already carry statements about the peer review 
process, so this would seem to only affect books and more irregular 
publications (though there are many of the latter in malacology).

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA

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