[Taxacom] Zootaxonomy publishing

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Mon Feb 8 21:29:51 CST 2010

A friend has wondered off-list about doing in zoology what the bacterial folk do: one nomenclatural conformity body and one (1, just one) outlet for available names. He proposed Zootaxa. Out of curiosity, I checked the Zootaxa website and learned that

- Zootaxa says it published 14% of all new taxa listed in Zoological Record for 2007
- it rejected ca 1/4 of submitted papers in 2001-2003
- in 2009 it published 28858 pages

That last number is particularly intriguing because the Species Exploration folk at Arizona State say that ca 15000 new animal species were described in 2007. Inflating that for redescriptions and other taxonomic actions, let's say that there are ca 25000 zootaxonomy 'items' per year. I don't think that would average to 10 pages per item; maybe 5?

So increasing Zootaxa's output five-fold gives us the bacterial taxonomy model and covers all of zoology. That isn't wildly unrealistic, just wildly unfair in the eyes of freedom-lovers, who will not like this post one bit. Also publishers of other zootaxonomic journals. To appease the latter, the one-journal-only model could be stretched to a whitelist of X journals. [X: any number smaller than infinity will upset many people, so I leave this blank]

This would make Donat Agosti's 'daily taxonomic newspaper = Zootaxa table of contents' a reality.
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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