[Taxacom] two names online published - one new species

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 25 14:23:37 CST 2016


you are correct, the code was written by a committee of people, we call it
a Commission here but its a group. Yes there are always difficulties with
this and what comes out of it is not always perfect. For my analogy
(forgive me) I will use engineering software, we call it idiot proofing.
But no matter how hard you try someone finds a way to crash the program.

No piece of legislation or law is perfect. The same goes for our Code. But
you cannot read this material by trying to get inside the political agendas
of those who wrote it. When dealing with legislation or laws or a code you
have to assume good faith or we end up in a never ending stream of.... well
this basically. I am not having a go at you, I think you make some good
points at times. But the way to look at the Code from the perspective of
problems within it is to look at case history and determine if it is
working. That is are the intended and preferred results occurring. If they
are not then we can do something, possibly an amendment, or the next
version. But there is a process for this.

Now as for Zootaxa, I think that journal was well on the way to achieving
its dominance of taxonomic and nomenclatural publication before the
electronic publication amendment issue came up. If their chief editor was
using his understanding of the code, to ensure his journal met the
conditions of the code so be it. I do not know about everyone else but my
preference for Zootaxa as an outlet for publication is not because it
complies just with this amendment, but because it was fast (before it
existed I had taxonomic papers in press for 18 months or more), because
they made an effort to be code compliant, and importantly because it
targeted the audience I was writing for. Maybe Zootaxa has done well out of
this amendment, but honestly the other journals if they wish to publish
nomenclatural works in particular, need to become clearly compliant with
the code. There are a number of journals that are perfectly good journals
that I wish would not accept this type of paper.

Cheers, Scott

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 5:54 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>

> John,
> The Code wasn't written by God and handed down to us mere mortals fully
> formed! It was written by a bunch of people, each with their own strengths,
> weaknesses and agendas. Those people didn't necessarily fully agree with
> one another about everything. The Code is what emerged from all of this.
> You cannot hope to understand the Code without understanding some of the
> politics that went with it. Some of that politics may be somewhat "ugly"
> (we have seen Frank Krell, for example, claim to have pleaded for
> clarification on one important point, but he was ignored by the others).
> Specifically relating to "date of publication". It simply wasn't thought
> through very well. Zootaxa specified an exact date of publication on its
> articles (which is, presumably, simultaneously online and print publication
> date), so there is nothing more to be said! If you don't do it the Zootaxa
> way, then you are forever in limbo - a no man's land of indeterminacy, in
> which there simply isn't a right or wrong answer. These are the facts. They
> may be somewhat unpalatable, but these are the facts.
> Stephen

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