[Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Sun Jan 31 00:25:11 CST 2010


Hmmmm ... how about if every two taxonomists who work on the same group but don't like each other simply refuse to use each other's names, and redescribe the other's taxa as new! The problem is that while Makhan may be an extreme, there is no sharp dividing line between "bona fide" and not. Anyway, if Makhan's papers weren't validly published, then there would be no problem, because his names wouldn't then be valid either. So for your "cunning plan" to work, you would have to get Makhan himself and his cronies to agree not to mention their own names in publication!! :)

________________________________________
From: mivie at montana.edu [mivie at montana.edu]
Sent: Sunday, 31 January 2010 7:15 p.m.
To: Stephen Thorpe
Cc: Matthew.Graham at unlv.edu; mesibov at southcom.com.au; taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Frank.Krell at dmns.org; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Hmmm, if everyone simply refused to use any Makhan names in validly
published papers for 50 years, wouldn't they just go away?

In the tradition I was raised in it is called shunning.

Mike Ivie


> True, but the only problem is that some would advocate completely ignoring
> the publications of what might be deemed to be a "rogue taxonomist", with
> two potentially bad results:
> (1) renaming taxa that have already been validly named by "rogue
> taxonomists" ; and
> (2) publishing the same scientific content again as if it were their own
> (plagiarism), in the unlikely but nonzero event that the "rogue
> taxonomist" can actually come up with a good idea now and again ...
> For example: http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wollumbinia
> Here, Wells correctly identified a new genus and (probably) validly named
> it, but his work was ignored ...
> Of course, we can and should ignore bad classifications if they are
> proposed, so we don't have to adopt anybody's taxonomy, "rogue" or not,
> but this is a different issue ...
>
> S
>
> ________________________________
> From: Matthew.Graham at unlv.edu [Matthew.Graham at unlv.edu]
> Sent: Sunday, 31 January 2010 6:21 p.m.
> To: Stephen Thorpe
> Cc: Frank.Krell at dmns.org; mesibov at southcom.com.au;
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?
>
> 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
>
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