[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Hinrich Kaiser chalcopis at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 9 22:51:36 CST 2017


Stephen is right, I certainly do not like the idea that minimally Code-compliant names should be considered valid for the purposes of nomenclature. On the contrary, I would like to see the bar for validity of taxonomic decisions (whether this would be new names or something else) RAISED to ensure that all such decisions are supported by verifiable data, produced using best practices in the best tradition of the Scientific Method. While initially my idea of a Taxon Filter becoming reality appeared a little bit far fetched, I think that any names produced by minimally Code-compliant procedures would require some form of quality control and the Taxon Filter models that.
We have seen the rapid production of names in the past, when unscrupulous or mentally ill individuals produced large sets of taxon names, unfettered by scientific processes and driven by their egos, and we see some of this still today. Given that new science builds on old science, we should learn from the mistakes of the past - and we need to integrate nomenclature into the scientific endeavor. Nomenclature is not science, it is a receptacle and an accounting mechanism for taxonomic decisions, subservient to the needs of science and scientists. I believe the next edition of the Code should include a set of best taxonomic practices that, from the date the new Code takes effect, forms the basis for rejecting names that violate these practices or the "spirit of the Code" as outlined in the Preamble, or the Code of Ethics. Anything else (i.e., older names) would be governed by the 1999 edition as amended in 2012, with questionable issues past, present, and future adjudicated by scientific panels constituted from within individual disciplines. Thus, dipterists, nematologists, herpetologists, and other zoological specialty organizations would be asked to constitute such a panel however they see fit, and these panels would deal with enforcing the new Code, perhaps with the vote of two thirds of panel members required to reject a taxonomic decisions. Start with a 2-year trial for this system and see how it goes. If no panel forms, or if the panel does not reach the 67% threshold, the Commission decides.
Hinrich
 


    On Monday, January 9, 2017 9:04 PM, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
 

 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?

Stephen

   


More information about the Taxacom mailing list