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

Derek Sikes dssikes at alaska.edu
Tue Apr 14 15:46:04 CDT 2015


I think it's important to cite authors of taxa. What kind of message are we
sending if we cite anyone with a hypothesis of relationships among taxa,
but fail to cite those who name taxa? Isn't a name a form of hypothesis of
relationships?

I noticed this very thing in a thesis I reviewed. Full citations were given
for all authors who suggested possible relationships among the study taxa
but no citations were given for any who actually named taxa.

It's almost as if we're agreeing that taxonomy isn't science if we think
the authors of names shouldn't be cited.

And it's hard to encourage students into taxonomy if they know their hard
work with get used without citation.

Of course the downside to strict adherence to such an editorial policy is
that some papers include lists of hundreds of thousands of species - simply
finding and verifying all those citations would be massive chore for all
involved (and most of the authors are long dead anyway!)

-Derek

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 12:38 PM, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:

> If anyone is thinking that citing the paper is going to help impact
> factors, think again, as only the citations in the first 2  years post
> publication are counted.  The half-life of a taxonomic paper may be 50
> years, but that does not matter.
>
> Mike
>
>
> On 4/14/2015 2:35 PM, Richard Pyle wrote:
>
>> I have always treated name authorities as citations (i.e., included the
>> full literature citation in the bibliography).  In the days when
>> paper-based publication dominated and every character on the printed page
>> was precious, editors would push back.  Now, there doesn't seem to be as
>> much (if any) resistance.
>>
>> Aloha,
>> Rich
>>
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of
>>> Dan Lahr
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 1:56 AM
>>> To: Stephen Thorpe
>>> Cc: TAXACOM; penev at pensoft.net
>>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] are journal-ranking algorithms code-compliant?
>>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> This discussion has brought back an issue that I often wondered about.
>>>
>>> Assume that the authority placed after a name, besides being metadata
>>> that
>>> objectively establishes unambiguous taxon identity, is ALSO a citation.
>>> This should actually mean that taxonomic descriptions are in fact highly
>>> cited.
>>>
>>> Perhaps it is easier to start actually adding authority citations in the
>>> references
>>> list.  This would certainly increase IF, not to mention it may increase
>>> objectivity
>>> in some works. I am not entirely sure what the down-side to doing this
>>> would
>>> be.
>>>
>>> best,
>>>
>>> dan
>>>
>>> __________________________________
>>> Daniel J. G. Lahr
>>> PhD, Assist. Prof.
>>> Dept of Zoology, Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil Office number: + 55 (11)
>>> 3091 0948
>>> http://www.ib.usp.br/zoologia/lahr/
>>>
>>>
>>> On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 10:08 PM, Stephen Thorpe
>>> <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
>>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 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.
>>>>
>>>> Stephen
>>>>
>>>> --------------------------------------------
>>>> 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  the  > 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?
>>>>
>>>>   Sincerely,
>>>>
>>>>   --
>>>>
>>>>   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)
>>>>                 http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>>>>      "There are some enterprises
>>>>   in which a careful disorderliness
>>>>
>>>>      is the true method" - Herman Melville,  Moby Dick, Chap. 82
>>>>
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>>>>
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>>>>   Taxacom in 2015.
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>
> --
> __________________________________________________
>
> Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.
>
> Montana Entomology Collection
> Marsh Labs, Room 50
> 1911 West Lincoln Street
> NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
> Montana State University
> Bozeman, MT 59717
> USA
>
> (406) 994-4610 (voice)
> (406) 994-6029 (FAX)
> mivie at montana.edu
>
>
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> Celebrating 28 years of Taxacom in 2015.
>



-- 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Derek S. Sikes, Curator of Insects
Associate Professor of Entomology
University of Alaska Museum
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dssikes at alaska.edu

phone: 907-474-6278
FAX: 907-474-5469

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