[Taxacom] botanical Code; no open access, but it doesn't matter

Donat Agosti agosti at amnh.org
Wed Jul 20 08:06:51 CDT 2011

In the recent sessions of the Nomenclature Section at the International
Botanical Conference
033),  Open Access to protologs have not even been discussed, because they
have been killed in the preceding mail ballot with 88% (Art. 30, Prop C) and
89% (Rec 30A Prop. C) no votes, and thus have not brought up during the


They both dealt with access to protologs, not to the entire puplications,


Prop. C (149 - Niederle in Taxon 59: 986) Add a new Art. 30.5bis,

as follows:

"30.5bis. Publication on or after 1 January 2012 is not effective

unless the publication contains a statement saying that all protologues

contained in it may be reproduced, stored and disseminated by all

means without limitation and free of charge."


Prop. C (150 - Niederle in Taxon 59: 986) Add a n ew R ec.

30A.1bis, as follows:

"30A.1bis. If the copyright holder of a publication dated before

1 January 2012 refuses free reproduction, storage or dissemination

of protologues contained in it, the publication should be included in

opera utique oppressa."


The astonishing in this very clear result is that so many votes have been
against open acess that would facilitate so much the scientific live of
these taxonomists.


The positive side is, that this vote is irrelevant, since the protologs do
not fall under copyright because they are not work in a legal sense. They
are highly formal descriptions of taxa, with a very specific language, often
peer reviewed to conform to the botanical standards, are not creative work
but data, and thus can be reused freely. For a detailed explanation see
Agosti & Egloff 2008 (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/2/53) 


Donat Agosti

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