[Taxacom] Re; Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Mon Feb 8 18:52:52 CST 2010

OK, let me be clearer:

(1) e-only taxonomic publication will be much easier than print or e+print, and will allow a much greater volume of taxonomic work to be produced more quickly. The second point is one of the benefits which has been promoted by e-only enthusiasts as a 'widening of the bottleneck' currently restricting our efforts to document the world's biodiversity. The fact that junk taxonomy can appear now, before e-only availability happens, isn't the point. The point is that without controls on e-only, vastly *more* junk taxonomy can appear, and appear faster. Will it be in proportion to the hoped-for increase in non-junk taxonomy? That's a conservative position, but even that's a disaster, because it's the *absolute* number of taxonomic entities we specialists will have to deal with, and I for one don't need that much more work.

(2) Hawkeswood's and Makhan's attitudes are relevant because the two of them are sociopathic in exactly the same way spammers, botmasters and other delinquents are sociopathic. You don't produce good taxonomy by thinking the taxonomic establishment is a bunch of snobs and by God, you'll show them! You produce a heap of junk in which disinterested, honest compilers like Stephen Thorpe and specialists might possibly find something worthwhile. You clearly want to judge taxonomic work on its merits. Well, that's what specialists do: judge merit. And this specialist wants to stop Makhan and Hawkeswood before they trade in their single-shooter for a high-powered automatic with a huge magazine.
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
(03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Website: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/mesibov.html

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