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

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Apr 13 20:08:10 CDT 2015

Doug Yanega said [Quote]So, if Zootaxa went from 25% of all names to 100%, ...?[Unquote]

It might not look too good if the ICZN ever tried to declare Zootaxa as the sole valid journal for zoological nomenclature, since it is privately owned by an ICZN commissioner. Even if he sold it beforehand, its market value would be greatly increased if this were known to be in the pipeline. At least it would solve the problem that the electronic amendment seems to have been written with the Zootaxa publishing model firmly in mind (and little or no thought given to other publishing models), though one could perhaps see the whole thing as someone playing a long game for personal gain. I'm not suggesting, of course, that this is the case, but only that it might look that way.

Also, the microbiology system is a bit pointless. It simply creates two different systems of nomenclature, one just slightly more "official" than the other. For most intents and purposes, candidatus names are just fine as names for taxa, and their validation in IJSEM adds nothing but a bureaucratic rubber stamp. I guess that there is a bit of bureaucrat in every scientist, defines as making things overly complicated for no practical gain.


On Tue, 14/4/15, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] are journal-ranking algorithms code-compliant?
 To: "Roderic Page" <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>, "TAXACOM" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Tuesday, 14 April, 2015, 1:18 PM
 On 4/13/15 4:44 PM,
 Roderic Page wrote:
 > Hi Doug,
 > Alas that’s not how
 impact factor works. It’s a function of both the 
 > number of articles published by a journal,
 and the number of 
 > citations, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_factor
 > Given that most
 taxonomic work is likely to few citations (certainly 
 > over the two-year period typically used
 when calculating impact 
 > factor).
 Consider Zootaxa, far and away the largest journal in 
 > zoological taxonomy. In 2013 approximately
 a quarter of all published 
 > animal
 names were published in Zootaxa, but its impact factor in
 > same year was 1.060 
 > http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/support/impactfactor.htm
 > A mega journal for
 taxonomy is pretty much exactly the wrong strategy 
 > to maximise impact factor.
 So, if Zootaxa went from
 25% of all names to 100%, you're saying that 
 its impact factor would DECREASE?
 Also, while I see your point
 in terms of the status quo, are you not 
 among the people advocating that scientific
 names that are digitally 
 published get
 automatically linked back to their original publications?
 If this becomes common practice, will that
 not mean that every time a 
 scientific name
 appears in print, it will *automatically* create a 
 trackable, quantifiable citation event? This is
 more a matter of how 
 people track
 citations, and is *also* presumably subject to change as 
 technology evolves. I admit that I assume it
 will change to our 
 advantage, and in
 precisely this way. Do you not see this happening?
 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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