[Taxacom] Article 8 compliance

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 17:41:27 CDT 2017


Hi Everyone,

One comment that came to mind is it is impossible to predict the future.
Hence you must be prepared for all outcomes. In terms of long term
survivability the most important point is usable archives of the database.
The one act that should be centralized. I would like to suggest that do not
rely on an electronic archive only. The reason being is that there are
already archived formats of software databases that are unreadable by any
modern software. Computers and the technology behind them advance at an
incredible rate leaving retro technology for dust. Hence archive should be
a printed on paper version as well as an electronic version. The electronic
should be as binary as possible, literally pure data no software specific
rendering. Then in the event of anything disruptive at least the data can
hopefully be reentered from the binary archive, if not the paper version.
Paper, of all our mediums, has stood the test of time, although it is
cumbersome with modern technology it still forms a good long term back up
system, ie one that has been proven to be able to stand for many 100s of
years. My point here is assumption should be on the worst case scenario, if
ZooBank moves to be the only mandatory requirement, then it must be able to
survive in some form, and we must assume it will not.

Another point that briefly came up, I will state my view that no taxonomic
acts should be published behind a paywall. To the journals that have these,
sorry, publish anything else, not nomenclatural acts. Anyone working on the
taxonomy of a group needs to be able to see these original acts, including
some student in a country earning less per month than the access rights to
some of these papers. On that note I also do not think its good to publish
new names in books for the same reasons, I know it can be done, I just do
not think it should. But I am digressing here.

I agree with Richard that the majority of taxonomists make their careers
based on the quality of the information they publish, and doing otherwise
would be deleterious to their careers. Unfortunately this is a fact of
those on some sort of academic pathway, or equivalent. For those that are
not and have other ambitions shortcuts are possible, as we know, in the
absence of article 8 we need something to separate quality from rubbish.
Something to decide where the line is of what is an acceptable name both in
the data presented and the ethics as well. It becomes very difficult for
these academics putting in many thousands of dollars and years of research
behind a paper only to have it competing with acts that have no data, no
financial commitment, no academic effort. We need to remember a part of
getting these grants is an expectation that the finding will be published
and be significant.

Just to add my vote, this herpetologist also thinks gender agreement should
be scrapped, I do not care that much about the grammar of a two word
sentence in an extinct language. Plus changing spelling causes database
issues. The code needs to move with the times, not be this archaic issue
enforcing principals that make modern technology and databases have a more
difficult time.

Cheers Scott


On Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 5:46 PM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
wrote:

> Hi Adam,
>
> Thanks for taking the time to participate in this discussion!  I am
> finding it very thought-provoking and helpful!
>
> > I really do think that John has some very valid points, particularly on
> pdfs and his
> > reservations about a number of aspects of the proposed ZooBank model.
>
> And I likewise agree (as indicated in my reply to John just now)/
>
> > In my opinion it would be much easier for the user, more economical  and
> have
> > other significant advantages if ZooBank changed its modus operandi from
> > "registration" to "mandatory archive".
> >
> > What I am proposing is that in order to confer availability on
> nomenclatorial acts
> > all that is necessary is to upload a pdf of the paper to ZooBank. The
> date and
> > time of receipt of the pdf becomes the publication date/time and there
> will thus
> > be no future issue of argument over publication priority for e-only
> publications.
>
> I think this system could work as well.  For many reasons I don't believe
> it would be as good as the system I am advocating, but I do agree that such
> a system would be better than what we currently have, and may be easier to
> "sell" to the community.
>
> > If an author wants to replace a previous version of the publication with
> a
> > subsequent version the old pdf is deleted from the archive and the new
> version
> > uploaded in its place, and the publication date for priority purposes
> becomes the
> > date on which the new version is uploaded. That would solve the current
> > problems with versions of record and their publication dates.
>
> This seems a bit problematic.  Would there be a time limit on when an
> author could replace an earlier version?  What happens when other works
> start citing the old version, then years later a new version is uploaded.
> Would all the other works citing the old version be using unavailable
> names?  What if a new name is established in the interim that is considered
> a junior synonym?  Would it then take on nomenclatural priority if the
> author of the earlier name later replaced the PDF?  I think that once a PDF
> is submitted and archived in ZooBank (in your system), it would need to be
> permanent.  Otherwise, I see all sorts of opportunities for tremendous
> nomenclatural instability to ensure.
>
> > Instead of ZooBank investing huge sums in building complex software
> needed
> > for the registration process and further sums for upgrades and
> maintenance, I
> > believe that it will be much more cost effective with much simpler
> software if
> > ZooBank becomes the ONLY MANDATORY ARCHIVE for all nomenclatorial acts.
> > The publication model would thus become "PDF archived at ZooBank =
> > published".
>
> Perhaps, but I'm pretty sure you're wrong on the costs estimates.  Initial
> setup costs for establishing an archive (instead of enriching ZooBank)
> MIGHT be less than US$1.5M (but I doubt it).  And certainly maintenance
> costs would be MUCH higher for an archive than it would be for a
> registration system.  The archive you describe would require many PETABYTES
> of storage space (instead of a few 100 GB), and as you noted, perhaps the
> largest cost for maintaining electronic information systems of this sort is
> repairing replacing hard drives, pushing content onto media, and
> maintaining a regular off-site backup system.  Establishing ZooBank as a
> single-point archive for ALL publications of Code-governed names and acts
> would be vastly more expensive in the long run than developing and
> maintaining the robust registration system that I have been advocating.  In
> fact, BHL tried to do exactly this (create a "safe harbor" for PDF
> deposition) a few years ago, and they eventually decided it would be too
> expensive (mostly relating to copyright issues).  And their budget is way
> more than what has been needed (and what would be needed) for ZooBank.
>
> > There are a number of distinct advantages for users of this proposal that
> > ZooBank changes from a registration facility to an archive. All an
> author needs
> > to do is upload a pdf to ZooBank, no need to fill out fields in a
> database for
> > registration of each act (even 2 extra days at the end of a long
> research project
> > is an inconvenience, never mind subsequent problems caused if the author
> > enters information incorrectly when staring at a computer screen for 2
> days).
>
> See my reply to John on the "2 extra days" thing.  There's no reason that
> couldn't be MUCH lower overhead time cost.
>
> > Subsequent users who want to access the nomenclatorial acts can access
> the pdf
> > files directly from the ZooBank portal, and read the necessary details
> of the
> > published acts. If there are copyright issues with the pdf publications
> ZooBank
> > could provide a "snippet view" of the paper, such that only the actual
> > nomenclatorial acts are visible to the reader (similar to Google Books)
> rather
> > than the whole pdf.
>
> OK, now you're talking about a system that would be VASTLY more expensive
> than US$1.5M to develop -- even ignoring the massive costs associated with
> the legal side of copyright. Just look at all the copyright legal battles
> that Google has had to deal with for Google Books.  They have a LOT more
> money than ICZN does (probably more than all of taxonomy worldwide); and
> even they considered it a major problem.
>
> > Surely this has to be a much more user-friendly, economically viable and
> simpler
> > system than the current model?
>
> User-friendly?  That's debatable.  Economically viable?  I will have to
> say "not even close", given what you've described above.  As for "simpler",
> I refer back to my original reply to John on this thread: by what metric
> are we defining "simple" vs. "complicated"?
>
> > Did I really see a Hymenopterist agreeing with the Lepidopterists that
> > gender agreement should be scrapped from the ICZN Code???
>
> You can add an Ichthyologist to that list as well... :-)  [Sorry,
> Miguel....]
>
> Aloha,
> Rich
>
> Richard L. Pyle, PhD
> Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences | Associate Zoologist in
> Ichthyology | Dive Safety Officer
> Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu,
> HI 96817
> Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252 email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/pylerichard.html
>
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>
> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years, 1987-2017.
>



-- 
Scott Thomson
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo
Divisão de Vertebrados (Herpetologia)
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