[Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Frank.Krell at dmns.org Frank.Krell at dmns.org
Sat Jan 30 23:00:26 CST 2010


The current situation is even worse. Somebody can post a pdf online and claim that multiple copies have been produced and distributed. We have no means to verify such a claim.
I guess most of us get their literatur electronically anyway. I believe that the pdf from "Entomological Research" that I downloaded yesterday has a hard copy counterpart. Would I ever check? No, because I consider Blackwell a reputable publisher. Have I verified that that new lucanid name is available. No, I just believe it, because I consider Blackwell a reputable publisher.
I also consider PLOS a reputable publisher, but they have occasionally missed to produce paper copies. Low profile journals, such as Munis Entomology and Zoology or Calodema, claim to have hardcopies. I have seen a hardcopy of one volume of the former and know somebody who has seen a hardcopy of one volume of the latter. I don't know if they regularly produce a printrun.  If we find actual paper copies, we don't know whether they were produced 'print-on-demand' (which would not make names available) or originate from an initial printrun.
The current situation, only recognizing works produced by means of an initial printrun, not allowing (= not efficiently regulating) e-only publications, provide all the opportunities to uniformed or unethical taxonomists already. Regulated e-only publications (e.g. with an archiving requirement) are unlikely to make the situation worse.

Frank

Dr Frank T. Krell 
Curator of Entomology 
Commissioner, International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
Chair, ICZN ZooBank Committee
Department of Zoology 
Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
2001 Colorado Boulevard 
Denver, CO 80205-5798 USA 
Frank.Krell at dmns.org 
Phone: (+1) (303) 370-8244 
Fax: (+1) (303) 331-6492 
http://www.dmns.org/science/curators/frank-krell





________________________________________
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe [s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz]
Sent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 9:13 PM
To: Bob Mesibov; TAXACOM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Bob, the bad news (or perhaps the good news) is that the situation to date is no better than your "nightmare scenario". According to the present Code, if I wanted to publish new taxa, all I have to do is print out multiple identical hard copies and make them "available" - no journal, no editor, no peer review, ...

________________________________________
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: Sunday, 31 January 2010 4:55 p.m.
To: TAXACOM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

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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