[Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Sat Jan 30 21:55:44 CST 2010

The answer to this thread's title question is 'No', if I read the proposed Code amendment properly.

Self-publication has (in recent years, anyway) been seen as something less than ideal in taxonomy. There are plenty of journals that publish taxonomic papers. If you can't get into a reputable, peer-reviewed one, there are outlets like Calodema. In any case, a rogue taxonomist can seek and get the additional personal gravitas that comes with publication in a journal.

The proposed amendments to the zoological Code will allow rogue taxonomists to self-publish hundreds of publications. All they need to do is register their new names and send PDFs of their work to all and sundry, including archiving organisations. Registration will not act as a filter here, and the archivers are not going to send the PDFs back saying 'We don't think this is good taxonomy'.

Note that Makhan, at least, alerts other specialists to his papers, and similarly the e-only rogueof the future can simply email all relevant specialists with a list of the new names and a link to the PDF. Courteous, professional - and scary.

I've read the proposed sections 8 and 9 amendments carefully looking for something that will prevent this from happening. I would be very grateful - really, really grateful - if someone could point to something in the Code that aims to avoid this scenario.
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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