[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Jan 9 19:58:45 CST 2017

Oh, so, if I understand you correctly, you are actually saying that you ARE indeed taking minimally code compliant descriptions of new taxa out of the publication metrics system! The idea appears to be that any taxonomist worth the title when then publish much fuller (re)descriptions in the usual way. But this is potentially problematic. I don't think Hinrich will like the idea, for it means that Code compliance results from minimal descriptions, which is all good for the likes of Hoser, etc. Besides, at the end of the day taxonomists are taxonomists, but other scientists (systematists, phylogeneticists, ecologists, etc.) simply use the output of taxonomists for other purposes. So, now they can easily make new names available in minimalist fashion and then charge ahead and use those names for other purposes! I don't see quality control on new names made available in minimalist fashion? Where is the peer review on the generation of new names?


On Tue, 10/1/17, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:

 Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
 To: "'Stephen Thorpe'" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, "'Hinrich Kaiser'" <chalcopis at yahoo.com>, "'Scott Thomson'" <scott.thomson321 at gmail.com>
 Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 Received: Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 2:41 PM
 > Well, the slight
 potential problem with that idea, or so it seems to me, is
 > either an accompanying publication
 is necessary for new name availability or
 > not. 
 According to the idea as I outlined it: not.
 > If not, then why would
 publishers bother to publish
 descriptions of new taxa that are already made available by
 other means?
 Because the
 vast majority of all scientific descriptions of new taxa are
 about the science of taxonomy, not about the legal Code
 requirements.  Only a tiny minority of the text in
 scientific descriptions is necessary to confer Code
 compliance.  Publishers publish new species descriptions
 because they represent important science.  Peer reviewers
 review the papers on the scientific basis.  Publishers
 should require that descriptions of new taxa include
 references to the registration of the new names (in much the
 same way that publishers often require citation of GenBank
 Accession numbers when gene sequences are cited).
 Any publisher that would fail
 to publish an article describing the scientific aspects of a
 new taxon simply because the publication itself was no
 longer required by the ICZN Code, would absolutely NOT be
 worth publishing in anyway.  Such a perspective would
 represent a gross misunderstanding of the respective roles
 of science and the Code in the realm of taxonomy.
 > What happens if a new
 name is made available "entirely within the
 > registration system", but for some
 reason it doesn't also get published?
 In what way is this different
 from a self-published manuscript that minimally contains the
 information necessary to establish a new name in the sense
 of the existing Code?  (other than the fact that the
 registration record would be easily discoverable, but the
 self-published MS would not).
 Nothing is stopping anyone from doing exactly
 what I described, except in the form of an obscure
 self-published work, rather than controlled and publicly
 visible registration system.  Yet, it rarely happens,
 because the vast majority of taxonomists care about their
 scientific reputations.  Such reputations are built on
 providing quality science according to scientific
 publication standards.  This would not change.
 We cling to
 "publication" in the context of establishing new
 scientific names as if it somehow represents some form of
 quality control; when of course we all know or at least
 SHOULD know) that it does not (anyone who thinks it does,
 either doesn't understand how what the Code requirements
 actually are, or doesn't understand the divers nature of
 "publication" in its modern form).

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