[Taxacom] e-publication of EarlyView: clarification needed

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Sep 13 04:50:16 CDT 2012

> What we are missing is a mapping between taxonomic names and DOIs (or
> other bibliographic identifiers). One of my frustrations with ZooBank is
that it
> doesn't have this mapping

Actually, it does.  Indeed, the data model always has had this linking, but
the old ZooBank web user interface did not include support for DOIs.  The
new user interface explicitly does.  All of this is included in the Global
Names Usage Bank (GNUB), which is part of the broader Global Names
Architecture.  ZooBank is one of the first visible parts of GNUB, but GNUB
is much broader than that (both in terms of taxonomic scope, and informatics
breadth).  Over the next year you'll see additional components start to
become more and more visible.

One of the core components -- and one of its most important long-term
features -- is a mechanism to cross-link identifiers from different data
sources.  DOIs are just one of many, many different kinds of identifiers in
the bioinformatics realm.  As the digital biodiversity landscapes shifts
from non-actionable identifiers (like museum catalog numbers, ISSNs, and
such) to actionable ones (like DOIs in the context of a resolution service
such as http://dx.doi.org/), we'll start to see the real power of this sort
of cross-linking.  Indeed, we'll start to see the real value of digitization
in general.

> What I'd like is a system where for any
> taxonomic name you get a link to the original publication of that name
> ideally, you can see that publication there and then. DOIs are part of
> such a system possible.

This is true, but DOIs are only a small part.  The elephant in the room
preventing this from becoming reality is copyright.

> It's clear that as publishing moves to being digital there are lots of
> stages, and different parts of the system change at different rates. I
> PDFs, for example, as part of that transition, because they are
> representing printed pages on a computer screen. There is a vocal group of
> scientists keen to drop PDF in favour of other formats (see
> https://sites.google.com/site/beyondthepdf/ and http://scholarlyhtml.org/
> ). Hence I suspect much of our discussion about PDFs will also,
> appear "quaint".

I tend to agree with this.  I argued against specifying PDF in both the
botanical e-publication proposal, and the zoological one.


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