[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Tue Jan 10 14:13:53 CST 2017


DAMN!  Now I see Thomas also provided a better version of my soapbox!  OK, I'll shut up now (at least until I finish going through my inbox).

Aloha,
Rich

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf
> Of Thomas Pape
> Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 4:11 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
> 
> The combined production of taxonomy and nomenclature in scientific works
> ever since Systema Naturae means that many people have difficulties
> envisioning these as possibly being produced separately (at least in part).
> 
> Managing more nomenclature directly in an online registry (e.g., an
> expanded ZooBank) would have some important advantages like
> instantaneous global availability, exact dating, prevention of primary
> homonymy, confirmed [intended] type depository, and unambiguous original
> spelling. It would also help people to understand better the distinction
> between nomenclature as an implementation of legislation, and taxonomy
> as a scientific activity.
> 
> Still, quality matters, certainly also for nomenclature, and most publishers
> exert some quality check on the content in the publications they oversee,
> e.g., through peer review. An official registry could still have various
> measures built in that would help increase 'qualified' nomenclatural
> decisions, but it is difficult to provide satisfying, sustainable solutions with
> limited resources.
> 
> This is all very interesting, and the ICZN is (pro-)actively looking into the
> various possibilities.
> 
> /Thomas Pape
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf
> Of Richard Pyle
> Sent: 10. januar 2017 02:41
> To: 'Stephen Thorpe'; 'Hinrich Kaiser'; 'Scott Thomson'
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
> 
> > Well, the slight potential problem with that idea, or so it seems to
> > me, is that 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).
> 
> Aloha,
> Rich
> 
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