[Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Fri Jan 29 19:14:27 CST 2010


There is such a fine line here!
Fact 1: Bad taxonomy is nothing new, and not restricted to "rogue" taxonomists
Fact 2: Makhan is one man, who can only make "an oil drop in the ocean", not a full blown oil slick
Fact 3: if you start restricting who can publish taxonomy, where will it end? Having to deal with the work of idiots (not necessarily putting DM in that category) is the price we pay for a freedom of speech

My advice is to just deal with the "worthless" paper as if it were an old paper by Verhoeff, or whoever ...

The editor of Calodema (Trevor Hawkeswood) thrives on controversy, and you are just fuelling the fire at the moment, Bob ...

Stephen

________________________________________
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Bob Mesibov [mesibov at southcom.com.au]
Sent: Saturday, 30 January 2010 1:55 p.m.
To: TAXACOM
Cc: Mark Harvey
Subject: [Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Dewanand Makhan has shifted attention from ants and beetles to millipedes and has published in the privately produced journal 'Calodema' a taxonomic paper I regard as worthless. Several specialist colleagues agree and one, at least, has written directly to Makhan. The man has a track record of nasty replies, so I didn't bother.

Instead, I wrote to the editor and publisher of 'Calodema'. He replied saying he

- would not tolerate the use of so-called anonymous peer review to eliminate the views and works of others
- thought that science is viewed by people like me as a competition and used to tell others how great we are
- belittled my objection to description of a new species from a single female (males are needed to discriminate between species in millipedes) on the grounds that it might be years before a male is found, and questioned whether the need for a male was a sexist thing
- invited me to publish comments on the paper in 'Calodema', where he would invite Makhan to reply

Readers can draw their own conclusions. My point in raising this on Taxacom is again to urge that if the ICZN allows e-publication only, that it restrict this to a select set of reputable journals.
--
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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