[Taxacom] new nomina nuda (was Re: e-only taxonomic publication)

Fet, Victor fet at marshall.edu
Thu Feb 11 09:19:26 CST 2010

>>>>>>> There are a few other such cases coming to light, but not many...

>>>>>   I am not aware that any new taxon names actually have ever been made available on CD ROM, without printed paper, but if there are any, I'd sure like to know ...

For nine years now, we (me and a group of colleagues around the world) are publishing EUSCORPIUS, http://www.science.marshall.edu/fet/euscorpius/, a scorpion-only peer-reviewed non-paper research journal with a strong taxonomic impact, referenced by Zoological Record.

Since 2001, we had 92 issues authored by 72 zoologists from 22 countries. Many of our authors are well respected in the field, and their other publications appear in ZooTaxa, ZooKeys, Journal of Arachnology, Revue suisse de Zoologie, etc. 

Euscorpius is produced in two identical versions: online (ISSN 1536-9307) and CD-ROM (ISSN 1536-9293) (laser disk). CD-ROM is deposited to 15 libraries in full compliance with the (formal letter of) ICZN. Only copies distributed on a CD-ROM from Euscorpius are considered published work. Each issue bears a date of publication.

In 2002-2009, EUSCORPIUS published 65 new species and seven new genera of scorpions from 27 countries, as well as a number of taxonomic acts.  

All issues are downloadable free in PDF format. We have no limit on page number or color illustrations, often publishing dozens of high-quality illustrations per paper; we reproduce historical labels, full digitals, multiple SEMs, colored maps, habitat landscapes (which is cost- and space-prohibitive in ALL paper journals; an issue which somehow was not discussed on TAXACOM). 

In nine years, I had requests of CD-ROMs only a few times, always from people in countries where Internet is banned or very slow - or just those who wanted a full-color printout but did not have a color printer. 

Our publication time is usually not more than two months from submission, since we are not swamped by a large flow of papers.

We could easily run and distribute paper prints, but it would cost me enormous time, and my Department, money for printing and mailing. We have no special funding for the journal, but then we have no subscription costs, and NO PAGE CHARGES either. I know it is not a sound business model: as many (most?) projects in our field, we run on enthusiasm and support of our authors/reviewers, and so far we have not ran out of it.


Victor Fet, 
Marshall University

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