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

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 17:23:33 CDT 2015


Heya,

*Michael wrote "The future will be far more foreign than the present
already is. Many, including myself, do not particularly like change, and
feel the existing system has worked well for 250 years so why not keep it.
"*

My thoughts on this is that unfortunately the rules have changed, not the
code or our rules. The rules of information exchange. In the past we could
go to a library or subscribe to a journal. That was as good a way as any of
staying up to date. Now information exchange is online, we can do it
instantly, it is a highly competitive environment. With large sums of money
for the journals if they do it well. If I want a paper now I can put a
message in this very forum and say pdf please ... and I will have it
usually within an hour, without even bothering to go to the library. Ink on
paper served well for 250 odd years, longer if you include information
outside our field, but that time is all but over.

*Stephen wrote "At the end of the day, we, as taxonomists, should be
primarily concerned with taxa, and only secondarily concerned with their
names (nomenclature)."*

I agree I really do, however, unfortunately other fields of science want or
need names on species for their work, they tend to look to us as
taxonomists to make those decisions. This is particularly the case for
management, and I guess specifically vertebrate management with respect to
endangered species legislation.

*Michael wrote " If you know a Case number that has appeared in the
Bulletin, you may not find it on the Website. Case 3681 was published in
the Bulletin (on paper) in June 2015, but there is no way to see it or
comment on it electronically.  There are reasons for this, but the fact
remains we have gone back to a pre-internet system of fixing problems."*

Although I get the frustration on this particular issue, as you acknowledge
there are reasons, and I am hopeful this will sort itself out given a
little time. But yes searching on the ICZN site should find all published
cases in my view too.

Cheers, Scott

On Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 6:42 PM, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:

> I agree with Stephen on this, and our current system for this is the
> Commission.  The most important role of the Commission on a day-to-day
> basis is to allow that the Code be violated for just the reasons Stephen
> wants [Writing a new Code is recognized, but separate from this issue].
> The problem is that the process is too slow and uncertain as it stands
> now.  The Open Case section of the ICZN Website is years behind <
> http://iczn.org/content/list-open-cases> and we find ourselves working
> back in an exclusively paper-based system of reading and commenting on
> Cases.  The Applications Received is the same.  If you know a Case number
> that has appeared in the Bulletin, you may not find it on the Website. Case
> 3681 was published in the Bulletin (on paper) in June 2015, but there is no
> way to see it or comment on it electronically.  There are reasons for this,
> but the fact remains we have gone back to a pre-internet system of fixing
> problems.  It therefore becomes up to the author on his or her own
> initiative to  "adopt[ed] 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."
>
> Rich's requirement of a whole new approach seems to cry out even louder.
>
> Mike
>
>
>
> On 10/16/2015 3:07 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
>
>> 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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>
> --
> __________________________________________________
>
> 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)
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>
> _______________________________________________
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-- 
Scott Thomson
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