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

Pat LaFollette pat at lafollette.com
Thu Feb 11 14:10:07 CST 2010

This discussion has brought forward a perfect storm of information 
and ideas on digital publication.  I find my own position shifting 
from judicious reserve and caution regarding e-only publication to 
seeking solutions that will meet the requirement of a "public and 
permanent scientific record." These solutions must satisfy the 
concerns that have been expressed here.  The solutions must be in 
place, ready for use, before the next edition of the Code is adopted.

Stephen Thorpe's query about publications made available under ICZN 
Article 8.6 has garnered responses that show that the Article has in 
fact been used to good effect.  The publishers have gone beyond the 
minimum requirements of the code by depositing CDs in ten or fifteen 
major libraries.  This form of publication, or its successor, must be 
acknowledged and preserved by the next revision of the 
Code.  Publications such as Victor Fet's journal Euscorpius must 
allowed to continue.

Euscorpius is also deposited with 
LOCKSS  (http://lockss.stanford.edu/lockss/Home).  This is a well 
supported library based project for long term archiving of digital 
documents.  It is less clear (to me, at least) how documents are 
gotten out of SOCKSS.  Public access seems to be a separate issue.

A way forward, and perhaps a viable solution to archiving digital 
taxonomic publications in perpetuity may be found with the Digital 
Library Foundation and its partners.  See 
http://www.diglib.org/preserve/ejp.htm.  We entrust libraries with 
the preservation of the permanent scientific record.  Major academic 
libraries have taken on the role of preserving the digital scientific 
literature as well.  I think we should be able to trust them with this.

Patrick LaFollette

At 07:19 AM 2/11/2010, Fet, Victor wrote:
> >>>>>>> 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
>Taxacom Mailing List
>Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either 
>of these methods:
>(1) http://taxacom.markmail.org
>Or (2) a Google search specified 
>as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

Patrick I LaFollette
Research Associate in Malacology
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
pat at lafollette.com 

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