[Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic versions of taxonomic papers

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Oct 16 16:07:55 CDT 2015


At the end of the day, we, as taxonomists, should be primarily concerned with taxa, and only secondarily concerned with their names (nomenclature). If one tries to treat the Code along the lines of a legal document, or as an algorithm, one will quickly end up tied up in contradictory knots. Therefore, I have adopted an approach whereby if there is a name which clearly is intended to apply to a taxon, then we can and should use it for that taxon, regardless of any minor doubts regarding whether or not the name "really is" Code compliant.

Stephen

--------------------------------------------
On Sat, 17/10/15, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic	versions of taxonomic papers
 To: "'Roderic Page'" <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>, taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 Cc: "'John Noyes'" <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk>
 Received: Saturday, 17 October, 2015, 9:17 AM
 
 <rant>
 
 The answer has always been
 obvious to me.  In the age of the emerging internet (and
 yes, it is very-much still emerging -- we've only just
 begun to see the changes to information exchange amongst
 humans), we need to fundamentally re-think how we establish
 nomenclatural availability (at least for as long as we
 continue to use Linnean nomenclature). 
 
 For 250 years, the practice of taxonomy has
 grown in a context where the primary mechanism of
 information exchange among humans was ink symbols affixed to
 "very thin slices of wood" (as Paul Kirk likes to
 say). For more than a hundred years, the Codes of
 nomenclature have been framed around that fundamental
 foundation (paper-printed works).  Now, and in the
 near-term future, the primary mechanism of information
 exchange is to transmit binary data encoded in standardized
 formats (UTF-8, JPEG, PDF, etc.) via the internet.  The
 Commission had to scramble to accommodate this rapid
 paradigm shift in the form of an Amendment to the Code, but
 that was really just a temporary band-aid.  
 
 For the next edition of the
 Code, I sincerely hope we can fundamentally change the way
 in which new names are established and anchored to
 biological organisms. Specifically, rather than awkwardly
 try to force-fit our legacy system (ink-on-paper) into an
 electronic form (e.g., PDFs, with arbitrary and artificial
 "pages"), we should re-engineer the entire process
 in such a way that we EMBRACE the potential for electronic
 information exchange and management.  The simplest step in
 that direction is to de-couple the scientific notion of
 "Publication" from the legal process of
 nomenclatural availability.  In other words:
 "registered=available".
 
 The devil is in the details, of course -- and
 in this case, it's about what "registered"
 actually means.  I'm not talking about what ZooBank
 currently does.  I'm talking about a brave new approach
 that re-crafts the rules for nomenclatural availability into
 a form that can be translated into pure logical rules that
 computer algorithms can rigorously enforce.  If done right,
 Homonymy can be eliminated entirely, Synonymy can likely be
 reduced (and when it exists, much more easily managed), and
 we will NEVER AGAIN have to argue about what constitutes a
 "published work" in the sense of the Code.  This
 is just the tip of the iceberg for how we can simultaneously
 improve nomenclatural stability AND increase access to
 information through embracing the electronic information
 paradigm, rather than futzing around the edges of it (as we
 do now).
 
 </rant>
 
 Aloha,
 Rich
 
 
 >
 -----Original Message-----
 > From:
 Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
 On Behalf
 > Of Roderic Page
 > Sent: Friday, October 16, 2015 7:09 AM
 > To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 > Cc: John Noyes
 >
 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of
 preliminary electronic
 > versions of
 taxonomic papers
 > 
 >
 Hopefully eBooks (similar to Kindle), HTML, XML will never
 be accepted as
 > pubs under the Code
 because they are dynamic.
 > 
 > And that, in a nutshell, is why some of us
 despair at the current state of
 >
 taxonomy. Do we really wish that some of the more innovative
 means of
 > publishing (never mind what
 will come in the future) are never accepted.
 > Never, really?
 > 
 > Regards
 > 
 > Rod
 > 
 >
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 > 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
 > 
 > Email:  Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
 > Tel:  +44 141 330 4778
 > Skype:  rdmpage
 >
 Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rdmpage
 > LinkedIn:  http://uk.linkedin.com/in/rdmpage
 > Twitter:  http://twitter.com/rdmpage
 > Blog:  http://iphylo.blogspot.com
 > ORCID:  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7101-9767
 > Citations:
 > http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ
 > ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roderic_Page
 > 
 > 
 > On 16 Oct 2015, at 17:48, John Noyes
 > <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk>>
 wrote:
 > 
 > Rod,
 > 
 > What you are talking
 about here (E-books etc.) are not publications under
 > the ICZN so they are not really relevant.
 We are only talking about e-pubs
 > that
 are accepted under the current Code. Hopefully eBooks
 (similar to
 > Kindle), HTML, XML will
 never be accepted as pubs under the Code because
 > they are dynamic.
 > 
 > John
 > 
 > John Noyes
 > Scientific
 Associate
 > Department of Life
 Sciences
 > Natural History Museum
 > Cromwell Road
 > South
 Kensington
 > London SW7 5BD
 > UK
 > jsn at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:jsn at nhm.ac.uk>
 > Tel.: +44 (0) 207 942 5594
 > Fax.: +44 (0) 207 942 5229
 > 
 > Universal
 Chalcidoidea Database (everything you wanted to know
 about
 > chalcidoids and more):
 > www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids<http://www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids>
 > 
 > From: Roderic Page
 [mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk]
 > Sent: 16 October 2015 17:40
 > To:
 > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 > Cc: Laurent Raty; John Noyes
 > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nomenclatural
 availability of preliminary electronic
 >
 versions of taxonomic papers
 > 
 > Isn’t part of the issue here that we are
 applying one notion of locating text
 >
 (page number) to a situation where the notion of “page”
 may be fuzzy at
 > best?
 > 
 > Documents such as
 web pages or eBooks either don’t have pages, or the
 > “page” may change depending on font
 size, device screen, etc.
 > 
 > People who develop software to annotate
 web pages, eBook pages, etc.
 > have
 multiple ways of locating bits of text, such as XPaths
 [fragments of the
 > HTML or XML that may
 underly the document], text fragments before and
 > after, number of characters into the
 document, etc. These work, as anyone
 >
 highlighting text in the Kindle app or iBooks, or indeed
 Google Docs or Word
 > will attest.
 > 
 > The nature of
 “publication" has changed, so we need to embrace
 more
 > general notions of location in
 documents. This is a problem others have
 > faced, and solved.
 >
 
 > Regards
 > 
 > Rod
 > 
 >
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 > 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
 > 
 > Email:  Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>
 > Tel:  +44 141 330 4778
 > Skype:  rdmpage
 >
 Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rdmpage
 > LinkedIn:  http://uk.linkedin.com/in/rdmpage
 > Twitter:  http://twitter.com/rdmpage
 > Blog:  http://iphylo.blogspot.com<http://iphylo.blogspot.com/>
 > ORCID:  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7101-9767
 > Citations:
 > http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=4Z5WABAAAAAJ
 > ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roderic_Page
 > 
 > On 16 Oct 2015, at
 16:33, John Noyes
 > <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk>>
 wrote:
 > 
 > The page
 number must definitely be fixed. Otherwise it might become
 a
 > nightmare, or at best a confusing
 pain, to give a meaningful citation to a
 > nomenclatural act in on-line or even hard
 copy databases/catalogues,
 > especially
 where longer publications are concerned. That is the
 absolute crux
 > of the matter. If the
 text and other associated details remain the same then I
 > have absolutely no problem. It is the
 change in page number between early
 >
 pubs and final pubs that makes all the difference!
 > 
 > John
 > 
 > John Noyes
 > Scientific Associate
 >
 Department of Life Sciences
 > Natural
 History Museum
 > Cromwell Road
 > South Kensington
 >
 London SW7 5BD
 > UK
 >
 jsn at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:jsn at nhm.ac.uk>
 > Tel.: +44 (0) 207 942 5594
 > Fax.: +44 (0) 207 942 5229
 > 
 > Universal
 Chalcidoidea Database (everything you wanted to know
 about
 > chalcidoids and more):
 > www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids<http://www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids>
 > 
 > -----Original
 Message-----
 > From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
 On Behalf
 > Of Laurent Raty
 > Sent: 16 October 2015 16:21
 > To:
 > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nomenclatural
 availability of preliminary electronic
 >
 versions of taxonomic papers
 > 
 > On 10/16/2015 03:47 PM, Scott Thomson
 wrote:
 > 
 > In
 response to Laurent. I agree there seems to be no real and
 absolute final
 > version if you count the
 adding of #tags as a part of the document.
 > 
 > Well, I think that,
 ideally, it should (have) be(en) possible for the user to
 > assess the integrity of a work distributed
 electronically. If a publication had
 >
 been defined as a given distributed file, with a fixed
 sequence of bytes, this
 > would (have)
 be(en) fully straightforward--all it requires is that a
 checksum
 > value be released together
 with the original work. This is fairly standard
 > practice for other types of files
 distributed through the Internet.
 >
 Assessing the integrity of a "content and layout",
 if the file is allowed to
 > change, is at
 best a nightmare.
 > 
 >
 OTOH, I'm not sure there's a real, deep, qualitative
 difference between
 > allowing file
 alteration as a result of a change in a download date and
 ip
 > address added to the footer, and
 allowing file alteration as a result of a
 > change in a page number added to the
 header.
 > Thus if you *must* allow the
 file to change, is it really worth the effort to
 > require that the page numbers be
 fixed...?
 > 
 > L -
 >
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 > The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be
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 > 
 > Celebrating 28 years
 of Taxacom in 2015.
 >
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 Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
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 > 
 > Celebrating 28 years
 of Taxacom in 2015.
 > 
 >
 _______________________________________________
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 >
 Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
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 searched at:
 > http://taxacom.markmail.org
 > 
 > Celebrating 28 years
 of Taxacom in 2015.
 
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 Celebrating 28 years of
 Taxacom in 2015.
 



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