[Taxacom] Taxonomic journal digitisation league table

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Tue Oct 8 06:39:45 CDT 2013

I've done a quick visualisation of the digital availability of taxonomic journals, based on data in BioNames (http://bionames.org).  There's a blog post about the table at  http://iphylo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/which-taxonomic-journals-should-be.html and you can see the complete table here: http://bionames.org/labs/coverage/

The table is colour-coded to flag major gaps in digitisation, namely those journals that have little or no online presence (at least, that BioNames knows about). There are some major journals (1000's of articles) that are mostly inaccessible (e.g., "Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France", "Revue de zoologie et de botanique africaines", "The Pan-Pacific entomologist", "The Entomologist's monthly magazine", "Senckenbergiana biologica" to name a few). A number of major Russian and Chinese journals have limited online presence (although in part this because I've not added had time to all the available articles from those journals).

I'm hoping that this list will indicate the scale of what remains to be done if we want to digitise all the animal taxonomic literature. I'm also hoping that projects such as BHL could use this list to help decide what journals to prioritise for scanning. 

If anyone is involved in the publication of a journal that is in the "red" or "orange"  zones then I hope they would consider digitising that journal and making their contents accessible to the wider community. I realise that this can be a complex issue, both in terms of the financial implications for a scientific society or institution, and the technical difficulty of digitising a journal. In terms of digitising, the Biodiversity Heritage Library seems the obvious organisation to help. A number of journals have made their back catalogue available to BHL for scanning, sometimes as part of a mixed strategy where recent articles are published by an organisation such as BioOne, and BHL has the back catalogue.

Lastly, if anyone sees a journal that I have flagged as being mostly offline but it does, in fact, have a web presence, please let me know so I can add the links to BioNames.



Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

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