[Taxacom] FW: Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Robin Leech releech at telus.net
Mon Feb 1 22:45:28 CST 2010

Question.  Does a professional have to have degrees, or can a professional
be someone recognized by experts in the field as being another expert?
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at ucr.edu>
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 7:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] FW: Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

> Ed Baker wrote:
>>Restricting taxonomic acts to peer-reviewed journals or the notion of a
>>taxonomic 'driving license' would possibly discourage some of the thriving
>>amateur communities. In many cases amateurs publishing in small, non
>>peer-reviewed journals make a significant positive contribution.
>>Increasingly for certain groups (in entomology at least) they make the
>>majority (or only) contribution. Any changes that affect this would need
>>very careful consideration.
> No changes that would affect this have been suggested. A competent
> amateur can publish in any number of peer-reviewed journals; if it is
> page charges that are the problem, many journals do not have them, or
> will waive them. A broad enough "white list" will include many
> journals of this nature, and - in the event that there is some
> particular reviewer for a particular journal who has their nose so
> high in the air that they refuse to approve publications by amateurs,
> regardless of the actual merits of their work - then (1) there are
> other journals free of such elitist reviewers, and (2) a journal with
> a conscientious editor should remove such reviewers from their list
> of referees, thus maintaining the reputation of their journal.
> A major part of this whole dilemma is the gap between theory and
> practice as to how peer review works. If it worked as intended, all
> the time, there would be little debate. It is up to the taxonomic
> community to decide how to deal with this particular issue, but to
> say that there is no consensus would be a woeful understatement.
> Sincerely,
> -- 
> Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
> Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
> phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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