[Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Matthew.Graham at unlv.edu Matthew.Graham at unlv.edu
Sat Jan 30 23:21:43 CST 2010


All,

I agree that the ICZN has some loopholes, but since when did we stop 
treating taxonomies as hypotheses and start letting the code dictate our 
opinions about the classification of our beloved organisms for us?  It 
seems like most taxonomic groups are infected with a few bad taxonomists, 
but it is up to us, the readers of these papers, to ultimately decide 
which classification scheme to use… we are not forced to use whatever 
takes precedence according to the code.

There is the well known debate over renaming many ranid frogs, and folks 
are publishing using both old and new taxonomies.  Some like using ‘Rana’, 
while others prefer the recent changes and use ‘Lithobates’.  Both are 
correct, but eventually I expect that the majority of herpetologists will 
be using one name, while the other name gradually fades away or new 
research provides another taxonomic hypothesis.  (Of course this ranid 
example is more complicated than that, but it illustrates the point)

So who cares if rogue taxonomists are publishing in rogue journals, for it 
is up to the scientific community to decide to accept or reject their 
taxonomic hypotheses…. the ultimate peer-review system.

Just my thoughts.

Cheers,

Matt



Matthew R. Graham
PhD Candidate
School of Life Sciences
University of Nevada Las Vegas
4505 South Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004




From:
Stephen Thorpe <s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz>
To:
"Frank.Krell at dmns.org" <Frank.Krell at dmns.org>, "mesibov at southcom.com.au" 
<mesibov at southcom.com.au>, "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" 
<taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Date:
01/30/2010 09:11 PM
Subject:
Re: [Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?
Sent by:
taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu



Yeah Frank, I will probably never see a hard copy of:

Ratcliffe, B.; Krell, F.-T. (eds) 2010: Current advances in Scarabaeoidea 
research. ZooKeys, 34

and who would bother buying a hard copy, when the pdfs are all free 
online?

My attitude is that you ahve to assume hard copies exist in accordance 
with the Code, unless it is proven otherwise, but why bother trying to 
prove otherwise? Some cans of worms are best left unopened ...

________________________________________
From: Frank.Krell at dmns.org [Frank.Krell at dmns.org]
Sent: Sunday, 31 January 2010 6:00 p.m.
To: Stephen Thorpe; mesibov at southcom.com.au; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

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

_______________________________________________

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

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
_______________________________________________

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

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
_______________________________________________

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom

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




More information about the Taxacom mailing list