[Taxacom] Warning

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Mon Sep 10 13:36:34 CDT 2012

Roland Eberwin wrote:

>the websites http://www.wulfeniajournal.at and 
>http://www.wulfeniajournal.com are not the official websites of the 
>botanical journal "Wulfenia: Mitteilungen des Kaerntner 
>Botanikzentrums" published by the Regional Museum of Carinthia. Both 
>websites criminally usurp the identity of the official journal. They 
>fraudulently use false informations, a false editorial board and 
>false publication requirements to encourage authors to submit 
>articles and to transfer page fees to a bank account in Yerevan 
>The criminals use Address, ISSN, Impact Factor, etc of the official 
>journal. They changed the URL of the Regional Museum of Carinthia at 
>Thomson Reuters Master Journal List directing users to their 
>homepage. You can identify the homepages cited above as fake by 
>checking names of persons: the criminals have severe problems to 
>distinguish between first names and surnames (eg Editor's name: 
>Prof. Vienna S. Franz).
>Please, don't transfer any money to VTB Bank (Armenia), Yerevan 
>Branch, Taylors Publications LLC (16048185548601 and 16048185548602).
>The Regional Museum of Carinthia is not liable for any offence 
>undergone by potential authors who would have submitted articles via 
>the websites mentioned above. Download of articles from these 
>websites which were published in the official journal Wulfenia is 
>Best regards,
>PS: According to the current thread on e-only publication for 
>zoology: are new names of taxa published in a fake journal valid?

If we assume that this journal has no printed hard copies, then there 
are three criteria for an e-only name to be made available:

(1) Registered in ZooBank
(2) ISSN or ISBN number
(3) indication of the intent to archive, with the external archive 
named in the e-document

I doubt that a fraudulent journal would be complying with items 1 and 
3, and if they are lying about having an ISSN number, then that - 
technically - is not being complied with, either. However, since at 
least item #1 is the author's responsibility, if an author has been 
tricked into submitting their work to a fake journal, then they might 
comply without realizing the problem. It is possible, certainly, that 
if the fake journal publishing a real work is archived externally, it 
would cease at that point to be "fake" - it would be as real a 
publication as any other e-only publication - aside from the usurped 
ISSN number. But no one who was not informed that the ISSN number was 
being used fraudulently would ever have a way to discern this, 
meaning an ISSN number in and of itself is no guarantee of 
authenticity (and, I should point out, this is not *essentially* any 
different from problems with paper publication!).

If this sort of scenario is a concern, then one potential way to 
prevent such problems is to have ZooBank exercise editorial control 
at step 1. That is, the taxonomic community can insist (or at least 
request) that ZooBank be empowered to refuse to register names from 
untrusted sources (at least in cases where it is not an author 
personally registering a name), or de-register names that had been 
registered under false pretenses, thus rendering them unavailable 
(and, obviously, keeping a separate list of these "banned" names). 
Normally, such retroactive acts (making a name that was available 
suddenly unavailable) are counter to stability, but if it's what 
everyone wants and agrees upon, then that changes the picture. If 
people *do* support implementation of such a mandate, then I'd 
strongly urge interested members of the taxonomic community to draft 
a document to that effect, distributed widely and with as many 
signatories as possible. Speaking for myself, as a Commissioner, as 
long as there is a demonstrable consensus, then there is leverage to 
find ways to satisfy our constituency's interests (as in the case of 
this recent Code amendment). No promises, but it takes significant 
input from the community to change the status quo.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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