[Taxacom] e-only publication for zoology, starts today

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Tue Sep 4 23:06:40 CDT 2012

Hi Stephen,

I'm currently on a ship with limited internet access, but I'll take a stab
at your questions.  I would encourage other Commissioners to offer their
interpretations as well; especially if they differ from mine.

>  (1) What if electronic and paper versions of a work are
> published simultaneously? Which version are the new
> names made available in?

If they are truly simultaneous (which I would define as the same 24-hour
period), then I think the answer is effectively "both" (or "either").  We
originally set up the prototype of the new ZooBank to force the user to
choose whether the electronic version or paper version was the registered
version "of record".  However, after various discussions with members of the
ICZN Council, the decision was made to not have ZooBank denote any version
"of record", but rather to let the work itself be the answer.  When the two
versions are not simultaneous, then the date of publication for purposes of
priority is whichever version complied with the Code first.  When
simultaneous, it effectively doesn't matter.

Of course, the day will come when there is a critical difference between the
two versions (e.g., the name spelled differently due to a typo in one that
is not in the other).  When that day comes, I'm sure there will be a grand
discussion of the matter.

> (2) related to (1), electronic and paper versions of a journal usually
have different ISSNs,
> making them effectively different journals. So, if a name is published
first electronically,
> and then on paper, although it is clear that any new names date from the
> version, it isn't clear if the paper names have any independent
nomenclatural status
> (synonymic homonyms??), in the same way that it is unclear (to me, anyway)
> would happen if the same work was published in two different print

The Commission discussed this at some length, and the conclusion was that
different ISSN's does not mean different published works in the sense of the
Code.  Where it gets messy is when the content of one version differs from
the content of the other.  At what point, then, do they represent distinct
published works (and, hence, synonymous homonyms)?  This is not without
precedent in the paper world (different print runs, etc.).

As for the same article published in two different print (or electronic)
Journals (assuming "different" means really different -- not just different
ISSNs), in my opinion that would represent different published works.

> (3) At any rate, Zootaxa (at least) has already started registering new
names as
> available from the e-version (though it is unclear if the print version is
> published simultaneously?)

My understanding is that they will continue with the paper copies.  However,
I'm not clear how you can tell from the ZooBank record that it's the
electronic version that is registered.

> Looking at an example ZooBank entry
> (http://zoobank.org/References/7F7302A9-24AD-4F37-8B25-146B64CA1F3D),
> I see two potential problems:
> (i) it doesn't seem to tell me the date and
> time of registration, so I can't verify that it was before publication!

If you point your mouse at the orange "LSID" icon, you'll see a pop-up of
who registered it and on what day.  We decided with the new version to make
the screen less cluttered with that information; but if people would like to
see it, it can very easily be added back (like it was in the old ZooBank).

> (ii) the internet address of the online archive (National Digital Heritage
> of The National Library of New Zealand) is not specified, thus apprently
> breach of Art. (and note that "admissible errors" applies only to
> the work itself, not the ZooBank registration!)

The URL is definitely in the ZooBank database (http://www.natlib.govt.nz/),
but not displayed on the record.  I'll add an item to the long list of new
features to make the name of the archive be a hyperlink to the website,
effectively providing both pieces of information at the same time.

> I look forward to your responses,

We're in transit today and tomorrow morning, but I'll be busy diving for
much of the next few weeks.  I'll do what I can to stay on top of email, and
of course Rob Whitton is monitoring the site and at the ready to fix
anything that is discovered to be broken.


P.S. After you've used this new system, I'd be very interested to hear your
impressions comparing the new interface to the old.

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