[Taxacom] a biodiversity rant from me [Wheeler et al. 2012]

Anthony Gill gill.anthony at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 17:57:40 CDT 2012

This bit is interesting: "We would add: only cite review papers when
they contribute something original." I find my own taxonomic papers
are rarely cited, particularly by molecular systematists and
non-taxonomists. Instead authors cite field guides, text books (such
as Nelson's Fishes of the World) or online providers (such as
Fishbase), even though more reliable information is provided in the
original papers. This I suspect is commonplace for taxonomy work, and
one reason we never have particularly high citation indices.


On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM, Stephen Thorpe
<stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> also, and in line with the quote from Todd, it is probably not a good idea to give a contrary out of step citation to a paper that is obviously ridiculous and probably only out to get citations. It isn't worth citing, and should just be ignored. One should cite only those contrary conclusions that seem reasonably well supported by good science. A judgement call, of course...
> incidentally, it is perhaps interesting to note that the Costello et al. (2011) paper still hasn't been published in print (First published online: August 18, 2011), even though the journal has a good turnaround with other papers ...
> Stephen
> ________________________________
> From: Geoffrey Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
> To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
> Cc: "TAXACOM@ MAILMAN. NHM. KU. EDU" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:15 AM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] a biodiversity rant from me [Wheeler et al. 2012]
> Stephen,
> A contrary out of step citation is still legitimately worth citing of
> course - in the form "( but see X et al 2011)", and indeed very much of
> interest (so why are the conclusions different) & would get the citation
> metric 'credit'.
> More from Todd et al.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps08587
> "[p.302] ‘The author’s responsibilities are absolutely clear: first, to
> consult the original paper; second, to quote the original material
> correctly and in context; and third, to present the bibliographic
> reference accurately’ (* Biebuyck 1992, p. 2). We would add: only cite
> review papers when they contribute something original, use the citation
> immediately after the assertion as opposed to grouping references together
> at the end of the sentence and do not provide long lists of citations if 1
> or 2 will do."
> Oh boy, if everyone followed those suggestions we would have some more
> readable papers.
> * Biebuyck JF (1992) Concerning the ethics and accuracy of scientific
> citations. Anesthesiology 77:1–2
> Geoff
> On Thu, March 29, 2012 9:44 am, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
>> very interesting stuff Geoff! Many thanks!
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Dr Anthony C. Gill
Natural History Curator
A12 Macleay Museum
University of Sydney
NSW 2006

Ph. +61 02 9036 6499
Editorial Board, Species and Systematics:
Editor, Marine and Estuarine Fishes, Zootaxa: http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/

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