[Taxacom] ZooKeys publishes interactive keys under the open access model

L Penev lyubo.penev at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 01:40:51 CDT 2009

ZooKeys published a forum paper ( doi:
where the concepts of publication, citation and dissemination of interactive
keys and other online keys under the open access model are discussed. The
concept is illustrated by a sample paper by Sharkey et al. published in the
same issue ( doi:
and two more papers published previously ( doi:
10.3897/zookeys.20.112 <http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.20.112>). The
sample paper represents a taxonomic revision of a hymenopteran subfamily
where keys to genera are published in a conventional dichotomous format and,
additionally, in three different interactive formats (Intkey, Lucid and MX).
The present model is based on previous experience with several existing
examples of publishing online keys, however, it also suggests ways to
publish, cite, preserve, disseminate and reuse the original data files under
separate DOIs and metadata descriptors to the benefit of the authors, future
workers, and society in general. To be regarded as a “formal scientific
publication,” an online key should satisfy the same criteria of peer review,
registration, persistence, bibliographic description, etc., as conventional
publications. Dynamic Web-based interactive keys meet some of these criteria
(identification, citation and location), while they may lack other important
features of it (persistence, archiving, indexing, science metric and
citation metric services). Hence, dynamic interactive keys may benefit from
publishing the first version of their underlying datasets in a form of
“formal scientific publication”. The forum paper discusses the minimum set
of data files to be published for several different platforms (Intkey,
Lucid2, Lucid3, MX) to ensure both (1) priority, identification, location
and citation of the firstly published work and (2) future use and re-use of
the keys.

Lyubomir Penev
ZooKeys Managing Editor
info at pensoft.net

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