[Taxacom] e-publication of EarlyView: clarification needed
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.
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