[Taxacom] are journal-ranking algorithms code-compliant?

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Mon Apr 13 18:29:03 CDT 2015

On 4/13/15 4:01 PM, Fred Schueler wrote:
> Quoting Neal Evenhuis <neale at bishopmuseum.org>:
>> However, until employers (mainly in academia) do away with evaluating
>> their employee taxonomists based on where they publish (i.e., high 
>> ranking
>> journals), many taxonomists will not switch over to this zero-ranking
>> registration/repository system.
> * I'm glad I got my unemployable badge before this ranking of 
> individuals by the ranking of the journals in which they publish came 
> in. This practice has always seemed to me to be an 
> institutionalization of pure stinking cowardice - those seeking to 
> violate the commandment "judge not, lest ye be judged" rank journals 
> by popularity criteria solely because they're afraid they (perhaps as 
> administrative trolls luring under academic bridges) couldn't 
> understand the work of the person they're supposed to be evaluating. 
> They fob the job off on a numerical assessment of the journals, and go 
> home to supper.
> This is a total inversion of the taxonomic notion of "publication," in 
> which it doesn't matter where you publish something, so long as it is 
> available.
Before this devolves any further (and I'm not accusing Neal or Fred of 
doing so, but I can anticipate some of the responses this may generate), 
PLEASE consider the following question very carefully:

If there is only a *single* electronic venue (call it an e-journal if 
you must), where ALL new zoological taxonomic/nomenclatural acts and 
descriptions MUST appear in order for them to be available, including 
paleontology, all vertebrates and invertebrates - ALL disciplines - then 
what impact factor do you think that single venue will have? Thousands 
upon thousands of new works produced every year, all in one place, all 
with a single cited source? This is a no-brainer. No one has to worry 
that such a venue would not have enough of an impact factor to satisfy a 
tenure committee; in plain fact, any taxonomist who is worried about 
impact factor should be BEGGING for such a system to be implemented, as 
soon as is humanly possible, so they can start submitting to it! Look at 
it this way: when less than 1% of all new names appear in high-impact 
venues like Nature or Science, then the OTHER 99% of taxonomists have 
*everything to gain and nothing to lose* by joining all together into a 
single digital venue, instead of staying scattered across hundreds of 
different venues with a microscopic fraction of the readership.


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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