[Taxacom] Pre-submission peer-review and online import of specimen records from BOLD

Lyubomir Penev lyubo.penev at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 02:07:13 CDT 2015


Stephen,

The "objectivity of peer-review" is a long, long discussion - please allow
me to escape from diving into it. A neglectful reviewer will most likely
produce a negligent review, does no matter who invites him or her.

A description of a new species might be perfectly prepared (imagine, for
example, that such description has also fully sequenced genome, marvelous
drawings, beautiful  photos, microCT, etc.). A taxonomist who is not a
specialist in the group would most probably say: "Great work, publish as it
is!" Another taxonomist, however, probably a member of a "small research
community",  could say something different, for example: "Look, this
species has been described in a poorly-known work of someone in 1837 and
I've seen then type, it is still there. Do not describe it, someone should
spend the effort to synonimize it thereafter. Or, if you want to utilize
your efforts, then re-describe it!"

What I forgot to mention in my post (my fault, sorry!) is that we are
considering to publish author-solicited final review statements  together
with the article (the reviewer will be warned about this of course). What I
also probably did not clarify well is that the author can consider
reviewer's comments still during the authoring process (like in Google Docs
comment/reply style), that is to submit in fact a revised and improved
version, which on its turn, might undergo additional post-submission
review, if the editor finds this necessary. Why taking so long for
post-submission revisions, re-submissions, new revisions, etc. when most of
it can be done while authoring?

I would argue that pre-submission review will rather increase the quality
of taxonomic publications. Will such evaluation system be used by the
authors? We have to wait to see, but in fact it is being used for
centuries, for example when a manuscript is discussed in research groups,
departments or societies before submission to a journal. Why not making
this process easy and efficient via online tools, which in addition also
would record the discussions through versioning?

Best regards,
Lyubo







On Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 11:16 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
> wrote:

> Lyubo said:
>
> >This feature might be especially useful for taxonomists working in small
> research communities formed around taxa of
> >interest. In such communities it is almost a norm that all know each
> other and the so called "blind" and "independent" >review is usually
> neither of the two, but only slows down formal publication of species
> descriptions, nomenclatural >acts, checklists, etc.
>
> My following comment is in no way a criticism of Lyubo in particular, but
> rather a general criticism of a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept
> of peer review. There is absolutely no reason why peer review should be
> limited to any "small research community" in taxonomy. Any taxonomist
> should be able to review any manuscript by any other taxonomist. Peer
> review never, or hardly ever, looks at the fine taxonomic details of the
> case. It only reviews how clearly set out and therefore easy to understand
> a manuscript is. Ironically, if peer review is limited to small
> communities, even this basic review of clarity is often not done. Since the
> reviewer often knows the author (as a colleague), they often just seem to
> just assume that the manuscript will be fine, even when it isn't! I have a
> slight suspicion (though little more than a speculation) that this is
> actually what Lyubo wants to see happen, as it will speed things up, and he
> can still honestly
>  claim that peer review has taken place! However, that is probably not a
> particularly unusual attitude for a publisher these days. They, like most
> other people these days, measure their success in terms of quantity rather
> than quality. I do not share this philosophy.
>
> Stephen
>
>
> --------------------------------------------
> On Tue, 22/9/15, Lyubomir Penev <lyubo.penev at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>  Subject: [Taxacom] Pre-submission peer-review and online import of
> specimen    records from BOLD
>  To: "Taxa com" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>  Received: Tuesday, 22 September, 2015, 2:28 AM
>
>  Dear Taxacommers,
>
>
>
>  I would like to point your attention to some new features
>  and tools that might
>  be of prime interest to taxonomists. Feedback would be most
>  appreciated.
>
>
>  1) Pre-submission peer-review: The authors preparing their
>  manuscripts for
>  the Biodiversity Data Journal <http://bdj.pensoft.net>  can now invite
>  reviewers to look through the manuscript still during the
>  authoring process
>  in the ARPHA Writing Tool <http://pwt.pensoft.net/> (the former Pensoft
>  Writing Tool, or PWT). After submission, in case the subject
>  editor
>  respects the pre-submission reviews (s/he can also invite
>  additional
>  reviews, if needed) and accepts the manuscript, the latter
>  can be published
>  within just a couple of days. This feature might be
>  especially useful for
>  taxonomists working in small research communities formed
>  around taxa of
>  interest. In such communities it is almost a norm that all
>  know each other
>  and the so called "blind" and "independent" review is
>  usually neither of
>  the two, but only slows down formal publication of species
>  descriptions,
>  nomenclatural acts, checklists, etc.
>
>
>  This feature can be used on author's choice, otherwise the
>  manuscript will
>  go for the usual post-submission review.
>
>
>  2) Online import of specimen records in‚Äčto manuscripts
>  from the
>  Barcode-of-Life data platform (BOLD <http://www.boldsystems.org/>). For
>  this the author needs to place either a BIN number or
>  individual record
>  identifier(s) in the respective field and press a button.
>  The records will
>  appear in the manuscript in seconds and the author can work
>  on these
>  further, e.g. assign type status (in case the BIN clearly
>  corresponds to a
>   new species), name the species, add other necessary
>  information
>  (description, diagnosis, etymology, etc.) and proceed with
>  peer-review and
>  publication. In case the number of voucher specimen
>  belonging to a BIN is
>  too high, one can import individual records as well. In the
>  near future the
>  feature will also be available for importing specimen
>  records from GBIF and
>  iDigBio.
>
>
>  The purpose of the tools is to streamline publication of new
>  species
>  descriptions, re-descriptions of poorly-known barcoded
>  species, other
>  taxonomic/nomenclatural novelties, and link publications to
>  records  already
>  available from large data platforms. Ideally, this kind of
>  published data
>  is expected to be of high quality, because taxonomists are
>  used to include
>  in publications only those specimens they or their
>  co-authors have studied
>  personally, but also because the data records will be
>  formally
>  peer-reviewed in an online collaborative environment. The
>  workflow is
>  expected to help also for the integration of the Linnean and
>  DNA-based
>  taxonomies.
>
>
>  Cheers,
>
>  Lyubomir
>
>
>  --
>  Dr. Lyubomir Penev
>  Managing Director
>  Pensoft Publishers
>  13a Geo Milev Street
>  1111 Sofia, Bulgaria
>  Fax +359-2-8704282
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>


-- 
Dr. Lyubomir Penev
Managing Director
Pensoft Publishers
13a Geo Milev Street
1111 Sofia, Bulgaria
Fax +359-2-8704282
ww.pensoft.net <http://www.pensoft.net/journals>
Publishing services for journals:
http://www.pensoft.net/services-for-journals
Books published by Pensoft:
http://www.pensoft.net/books-published-by-Pensoft
Services for scientific projects: http://www.pensoft.net/projects
Find us on: Facebook
<http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pensoft-Publishers/170816832934216?ref=ts>,
Google+
<https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/114819936210826038991/114819936210826038991/posts>,
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