[Taxacom] e-publishing and the "taxonomic impediment"

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Wed Sep 5 00:39:34 CDT 2012

Hi Stephen,

I'll leave it to others to debate the influence of e-publication on the
taxonomic impediment.

However, having been intimately involved with the entire process of the
e-publication effort within ICZN since before the original drafting of the
Amendment in Paris, I can ABSOLUTELY guarantee you that this was NOT, in any
way, driven by publishers.  The pressure to accommodate e-publication has
come from the taxonomic community, which ICZN serves.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
> Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 3:45 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] e-publishing and the "taxonomic impediment"
> Hello Taxacomers,
> I am at a bit of a loss to know how the advent of e-only publication in
> is supposed to help reduce the "taxonomic impediment", despite the
> apparent claims by the ICZN that it will help to do so, and, indeed, they
> this sound like the primary motivation, with just one or two commentators
> making brief note of the fact that it may also be a little bit good
> for publishers (i.e., "the paper impediment to (profitable) publishing").
> what is the so-called "taxonomic impediment"? As I understand it, it
refers to
> difficulties for doing certain sorts of biology (e.g. conservation,
ecology, etc.)
> due to the fact that so many species are still so poorly documented or
> undocumented (i.e. undescribed/unidentifiable) taxonomically. If this is
> what it is, then the implicit claim being made in support of e-only
> in zoology is that with paper out of the way, the way is clear for a
> increase in the rate of new species  descriptions and/or taxonomic
> The problem, as I see it, with this claim, is that I don't think it will
make the
> slightest bit of difference to the rate of description/revision. I don't
think it
> will make any real difference at all to taxonomists, only to publishers.
> rate of taxonomy is not limited, I suggest, by the rate at which
publishers can
> churn out hard copy. Rather, it is limited by several other factors, such
as the
> amount of funding available for taxonomy, the number of active taxonomists
> (these things are probably linked), etc.
> Cheers,
> Stephen
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of
> these methods:
> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
> (2) a Google search specified as:
> site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

This message is only intended for the addressee named above.  Its contents may be privileged or otherwise protected.  Any unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this message or its contents is prohibited.  If you have received this message by mistake, please notify us immediately by reply mail or by collect telephone call.  Any personal opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily represent the views of the Bishop Museum.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list