[Taxacom] New taxonomy in Nature's Scientific Reports

Thomas Pape tpape at snm.ku.dk
Sun Oct 2 01:47:35 CDT 2016

The number of electronic-only publications failing to comply with ICZN requirements certainly is an issue of some concern. The Commission is currently looking into this.

The scale of the problem is not known, but it certainly involves dozens of 'works' and most likely a non-trivial number of zoological names and other nomenclatural acts. 

The criteria required for electronic-only works to be regarded as published for the purposes of zoological nomenclature were advertised widely and are contained in ICZN Article 8.5 [see www.iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp or BZN 69(3): 161-169]. Some editors and authors have evidently missed these provisions (in all, or in part) and have inadvertently provided new names (or other nomenclatural acts) in non-compliant publications, which for that reason are to be considered as not published (i.e., non-existent in a nomenclatural sense).

One issue that has added to the magnitude and complexity of the problem is the occasional misconception that only the *names* need to be registered in ZooBank. While this is highly desirable and strongly recommended, the basic requirement is that the *work* (article, paper, book) be registered, including a specification of the intended archive and the ISBN or ISSN number (along with some other requirements). 

Another issue is that some journals, when discovering the shortcomings of a given paper, have provided a 'corrigendum', but being unaware of the full implications of Article 8.5, this has in many cases not provided Code-compliance as intended. Often, the corrigendum refers back to the non-compliant work, but as this is to be regarded as not published, the content in it is not nomenclaturally available, and the corrigendum fails to include all the criteria necessary for making the name or act available.

Further, non-compliant electronic-only publications may contain not only names but also other nomenclatural acts (typifications, spelling issues, First Reviser acts, precedence, etc.), which like the work itself will have to be considered as not published and as such not available for zoological nomenclature.

As mentioned, we are looking into this, but I should like to encourage everybody to help disseminating the relevant criteria for e-only Code compliance to editors, colleagues, students, etc. throughout the zoological community. And it is worth noting that the fraction of names passed to ZooBank by an automated registration workflow is rapidly growing.

Thomas Pape
ICZN President

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Geoffrey Read
Sent: 1. oktober 2016 07:31
To: Stephen Thorpe
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; gread at actrix.gen.nz
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] New taxonomy in Nature's Scientific Reports


Can you name those journals?  I'm interested if there are other major
online-only high-profile ones   The usual efirst-then-print ones (Hello
JMBA UK) I don't care about, although they're a pain in the butt to track when the articles are really published, and the names become available.

As evident from the thread yes indeed there are people who don't know what constitutes Code-valid publication.  But Nature staff should know.

Yes, the web site seems to have a pdf invisibility problem at the moment - I used ResearchGate instead.


On Sat, October 1, 2016 6:11 pm, Stephen Thorpe wrote:

> This isn't a big deal! There are only less than a handful of articles 
> with new taxa. It was up to the authors to ensure Code compliance. The 
> website seems odd, though, and I can't seem to find a way to get a pdf 
> of any of the articles! Anyway, there are plenty of other journals 
> publishing more new taxa than this one, all without valid ZooBank preregistration!
> Stephen
> --------------------------------------------
> On Sat, 1/10/16, Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
>  Subject: [Taxacom] New taxonomy in Nature's Scientific Reports
>  To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>  Received: Saturday, 1 October, 2016, 5:57 PM
>  Has anyone here published taxonomy in  "Scientific Reports", Nature's  
> online-only open access journal?  Why aren't they  registering new 
> taxa in  ZooBank for authors?
>  Twitter thread about the issue:
>  https://twitter.com/BioInFocus/status/734870944330731520
>  Geoff
>  --
>  Geoffrey B. Read, Ph.D.
>  Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
>  gread at actrix.gen.nz

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