[Taxacom] ICZN - your support for a key taxonomic infrastructure

ICZN-EM iczn-em at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Mar 4 16:29:33 CST 2013

Dear Taxacomers,

Thank you to those of you who have provided support for the ICZN so far. The financial basis for running the ICZN is indeed in a very precipitous situation. We are working on making this a temporary situation, and to transition to a more sustainable funding model. However, we still need your help to get there.

Solid nomenclature provides a foundation for all taxonomic work and applications. The work of the ICZN provides an infrastructure for our science. In other disciplines infrastructural support is provided either by professional institutions, organisations or individual contributions (such as professional dues). Alternatives for funding the ICZN are being vigorously explored, and by the end of the year we expect to have moved to a more sustainable basis. Our shortfall for the year currently stands at £47,000. Without new funds to fill the gap, we will need to cease the work of the Secretariat by the end of June or July, or decrease output, with uncertain consequences for ICZN functioning, over a marginally longer period of time.

In the meantime, we could really use help from you in a number of different ways:

Direct contributions – consider this a professional contribution
So far individuals are giving between £10-150 (US$ 15 – 225) through PayPal on our website http://iczn.org/  or with a form available here: http://iczn.org/content/make-donation

If you can, we ask you to give a minimum of £40 (US$ 60) for this time of difficult transition, though any contribution really does help.
Estimates  suggest that there are 5,000 working taxonomists; if each made a contribution of £20, then the costs of running the ICZN in its current structure would be completely covered, as well as providing the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature free for users. Because not all taxonomists would be able to provide support for various reasons, a somewhat greater amount must be requested for starters. As you can see from these numbers, it is indeed quite possible for individual contributions to make the difference. Moreover, the action of contributing shows your support.

Advocate support from the professional institutions and organisations that represent you
We have asked for, and received, institutional support from a number of natural history museums in the past, as these act not only as repositories for type specimens, but are also the focal points or representatives for taxonomists nationally. It should be underscored that type collections provide a core scientific value for museums, and that type specimens derive their unique value only from their designation as nomenclatural standards. So investment in stable nomenclature should be seen part of the core activity for museums. Past support from national level institutions has been £15,000 for major institutional subscribers (supporters) and £5000 for mid-level supporters, though other amounts have also been provided. Please contact the director of your representative museum and ask them to be an institutional supporter of the ICZN.

In addition, professional organisations have provided support, including £1300 from a marine research society, £1000 from a national entomological society, £500 from a malacological society, £800 from a publisher. If you can help us make links to additional professional societies that can provide assistance, this will be a very big help. Your advocacy in council meetings and on list servers can make the difference.

In each of these cases we are happy to send a letter of request as well, but it helps immensely to have local advocates for our request.

Ensure that your library subscribes to the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. Every subscription helps with our expenses ( http://iczn.org/content/order-bulletin ). If you run an organisation that can only provide support by purchasing services such as a subscription, then this is the way to help the ICZN. The BZN is the technical organ that allows your Cases to be presented to the community and the Commission in the most strongly supported form, your input on Cases to be published, and the results disseminated – all in a publicly accessible, archived, permanent record.

Long term, bigger picture
We will be working on new funding mechanisms and an endowment. Consider making legacy donations to the ICZN either directly now, or in your will.

Help us build high-quality nomenclatural content
If you are an active zoological taxonomist, you will be able to provide high quality content for ZooBank. Something you can do for your own scientific legacy and to help the ICZN at the same time is to enter your nomenclatural work, and that of the major references in your field, in to ZooBank (http://zoobank.org/). This helps ZooBank content grow, and the relaunch provides a more user friendly interface and better underlying architecture.

Finally, the words and actions of support that have been given so far make a very big difference for us.

Thank you

Ellinor Michel, on behalf of the ICZN, ITZN and Secretariat


Dr Ellinor Michel

Executive Secretary
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD
+44 (0)207-942-5653
iczn-em at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:iczn-em at nhm.ac.uk>


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