[Taxacom] ICZN procedure question

L Penev lyubo.penev at gmail.com
Fri Nov 12 01:14:31 CST 2010

It is time perhaps for a publisher to say something. Before offering a kind
of reply to some of the questions, let me say that I completely agree with
Rich Pyle's overall vision on the subject (below).

1. What to do:

We tried to formulate a kind of "best practice guidelines"  that reflect,
however the CURRENT situation in both Codes (source doi:

      1. Maintenance of a printed version registered under print ISSN
(P-ISSN), different from the ISSN of the electronic version (E-ISSN);
      2. Production of the print version simultaneously with the electronic
      3. The printed version to be identical (including resolution and
color) to the electronic (normally PDF) version;
      4. Maintenance of a stock of the printed version that may be requested
and delivered on purchase, exchange or gift;
      5. Publication of the electronic version on the World Wide Web

Peer-review and open access should be added here as highly desired, nice
additions to the guidelines. Personally,  I would advocate for mandatory
open access and peer-review of  publishing of nomenclatural acts to make
them available or validly published.

2. The future (assuming that both Codes permit electronic publications still
in 2011):

      1. The date of e-publication should have a priority over the printed
      2. Electronic registers of new acts (IPNI, ZooBank, Mycobank) should
be supported  by the entire taxonomists' community as these serve their own
interests; registration and maintenance of metadata accuracy should be
obligation of the publishers
      3. Printed version to be made a recommendation for both publishers and
libraries. Mandatory requirement to maintain a printed version won't work
for a long time, whatever we want and independently of what Codes will say
on that. It doesn't work for some publishers even now.
      4. Archiving of e-publications  - ISO-certified international
e-archives; the best possible archiving method, however, is the open access
to full content! Open access has its own, sometimes unforeseen ways of
dissemination and archiving beyond the usual e-archives. Archiving in
multiple formats (PDF, XML and separate fugures files) is a great advantage
and should be recommended by the Codes
      5. Peer-review of nomenclatural acts - mandatory
      6. E-publishing in general -  the problem is not in e-publishing
itself, but how to establish and formulate the right procedures in the Codes
for it (as Stephen said)

3. Publishers are (will) not be needed anymore

      This seems to me like to glue news on the walls of your institute or
house everyday (theoretically many people would pass by and read them) and
to claim that you have a daily newspaper.  It is easy to publish on Internet
nowadays, however is is indeed a hard work, a lot of investments and
constant developments needed to properly disseminate, store and index the
published information in the time of the rapidly evolving linked Web. To
"hang" something on the Internet, even published 100 % legally and
respecting all possible Codes, is certainly not sufficient anymore to say
that something is properly published.

4. Publisher's profit increase with allowance of e-publications

     Anyone is welcome to test making "profit" by publishing a taxonomic
journal daily (as Zootaxa does) or twice per week (as ZooKeys currently
does) .

Very best regards,

On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 6:01 AM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>wrote:

> > Surely the precautionary principle would suggest we do both
> > as part of a considered transition? I would most happy if it
> > was a 'mandatory both' - paper AND electronic to show we are
> > serious about embracing the technology and serious about what
> > we are creating as legacy for the next 250 years (decades).
> So, you mean that a nomenclatural Act would not be legitimate under it's
> respective Code until the publication instance in which it occurred existed
> in *both* paper *and* electronic form?  Books too?  What happens when they
> are not produced and made available at the same time?  Which date applies
> for purposes of priority?  What happens if the content is not identical
> between the paper form and electronic form?
> At least with the status quo, the opportunity for having both concurrently
> exists (and is done regularly by journals like Zootaxa and Zookeys, as well
> as others), but because only one constitutes the actual "Act", there is no
> confusion or ambiguity in terms of content or dates.
> My inclination would be to allow either, but in the case of e-only,
> introduce some additional requirements to help mitigate the long-term
> legacy
> bit (e.g., require registration of the Code-relevant bits of e-only pubs,
> then produce archival paper copies of the registry on a routine basis).
> I will refer to the trusty "bear in the woods" joke, to once again remind
> us
> of the context of this conversation:
> Two guys are walking in the woods, and a huge bear starts charging them.
> The first guy starts to panic, while the second guy sits down and starts
> putting his running shoes on.  The first guy says, "Are you crazy? You'll
> never out-run that bear!"  The second guy says, "I don't have to out-run
> the
> bear. I only have to out-run YOU."
> This joke comes up again and again in all of my fields of endeavor.  The
> point is this: an e-only publication system does NOT have to be perfect.
>  It
> only needs to be as good or better than the alternative.
> As Stephen already pointed out, the bot and zoo Codes currently allow for
> any old sod to whip out an un-peer-reviewed document on a laser printer
> using the cheapest paper available and a recycled cheap toner cartridge,
> then make at least two copies available for sale or purchase; and Viola! A
> code-compliant publication!
> The bar is already pretty low (i.e., the First guy in the bear joke has two
> broken legs as it is).
> Doug and I have been discussing this for a long time (over a decade now, I
> think), and he raises a valid point that though the bar is currently low,
> most people in the "oldSod" class don't realize this; and hence don't
> (often) abuse the system (yes, I know, there are notable abusers, and they
> wreak havoc within their context; but overall this is not a widespread
> problem).
> This is an example of what IT people have described to me as "security
> through obscurity".  It works, but only tenuously so.
> So the alternative is to leverage the "desire" by members of the community
> for the option to e-published Code-governed acts, to get them to agree to
> raise the bar a bit and patch up the holes and loopholes that currently
> exist.
> Of course, there are those who maintain (legitimately) that those holes and
> loopholes serve and important, and perhaps even intentional purpose; and
> therefore should not be closed.
> As a taxonomist, I am a strong supporter of moving towards e-publication
> and
> e-distribution of e-published information -- for all the obvious reasons.
>  I
> agree that paper-based information archiving has a much longer track
> record,
> but it's certainly not infallible. And I believe that, short of a the
> complete collapse of civilization (or at least the loss of affordable
> electricity), electronic archiving techniques will only continue to improve
> over time. The technology we have today doesn't have to last forever, it
> only needs to last long enough to be transferred to the next-generation
> electronic archive technology.  And anything that anyone with access to a
> computer uses WILL get transferred.
> However, as an ICZN Commissioner, I am a supporter of whatever solution
> best
> meets the needs of the constituents of ICZN -- regardless of whether that
> solution is congruent with my own personal needs/desires as a taxonomist.
> Aloha,
> Rich
> Richard L. Pyle, PhD
> Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences
> Associate Zoologist in Ichthyology
> Dive Safety Officer
> Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum
> 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
> Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
> email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/pylerichard.html
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Dr Lyubomir Penev
Managing Director
Pensoft Publishers
13a Geo Milev Street
1111 Sofia, Bulgaria
Fax +359-2-8704282
info at pensoft.net

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