[Taxacom] e-publication of EarlyView: clarification needed

Richard Petit r.e.petit at att.net
Wed Sep 12 15:21:09 CDT 2012

Dr. Page wrote: "The notion of volume/issue and pagination is rather quaint 
in the digital world".  I hate to use the word, but this is disingenuous. 
He also seems to state that a DOI is all that is necessary to locate a 
description or nomenclatural act.

We are now relieved of the burden of remembering the names of books or 
journals.  If you pick up a specimen and recall that you have recently seen 
it in a publication, you don't have to remember which journal it was in or 
who wrote the paper, you only have to recall the DOI.  DOI uses as an 
example DOI 10.1000/182. All that a systematist now has to recall is that a 
given species is described, for example, in DOI 16.3759/289 and that it is 
in the second fourth of the paper (there being no page numbers). I am not 
sure what the mechanism is for obtaining the cyberspace publication 
represented by the DOI or even how its source is known. Considering how 
thoroughly this scheme has been developed I am confident that there is some 
procedure, hopefully involving a finite number of steps.

It is part of the scheme that digital publications have to be permanently 
stored but is there a corresponding requirement that the archivers must make 
them available? Such a requirement would be imposible to enforce and is 
therefore simply window dressing. Rather like putting perfume on a hog.

Lewis Carroll would be envious that he did not invent this "system."  We 
needed William Jennings Bryan who might have said: "We will not be crucified 
upon a cross of digital publication; this crown of cyber numbers will not be 
pressed upon the brow of systematists."

I cannot with sincerity close with "respectfully" as I have lost almost all 
of what little remaining respect I had for the ICZN.

dick p.

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