[Taxacom] "Taxon Filter" (was Re: Electronic publication)

Neal Evenhuis neale at bishopmuseum.org
Wed Jan 11 13:59:40 CST 2017

Assuming this is following the "Registration = Available" scenario, what
happens when said taxon is rejected by the peer-review process as not new.
Does it get added to the Official Index? The Official Index could get
rather messy. Can names be retroactively said to be OK after they have
been rejected? Or vice-versa?

One other point — this system may work for well-known groups, but it
depends solely on folks around the world volunteering to review and
register their speciality. There is no assurance of that happening.

And another point — If author A has a MS a new taxon of a very rare and
little-known group and it is submitted for which there are no
peer-reviewers registered, what happens? I assume since it is
registered=available, author A gets a free pass until such day as someone
registers — does that late registrant automatically get to see all past
papers submitted in his/her speciality for review?


On Stardate 1/11/17, 8:55 AM, "Taxacom on behalf of Doug Yanega"
<taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

>For the record, the "Taxon Filter" concept is one that Hinrich largely
>borrowed from a model I have been proposing for some time now, and he
>and I had extensive discussions prior to his adopting that name. There
>is a very important aspect of the process which does not seem to have
>been clearly explained, and I think it is highly relevant to several of
>the issues raised in this present thread. Allow me to give a
>hypothetical example to illustrate:
>Suppose author X wants to describe a new species of bumblebee (the genus
>Bombus, family Apidae, order Hymenoptera, class Insecta). They have
>three female specimens, from two localities in Mexico.
>Under the status quo, they submit a manuscript to journal Y and it is
>seen by three anonymous referees plus a subject editor before being
>accepted, with minor revision, and published. Under the status quo, it
>is ALSO possible that one of the referees (let's call them Z) might
>realize "Oh, I have some specimens of this new species myself!" and they
>could quickly publish their OWN description, and "scoop" author X,
>usurping their discovery. Author X is furious, but cannot prove that Z
>was one of the referees, because they are shielded by anonymity.
>Under the model that I and Hinrich have been advocating (at least my
>version of which is NOT a "minimal requirements" model), this would be
>quite different.
>Author X would submit their manuscript (in my model, the *whole* thing)
>to THE single official venue - most likely ZooBank - that acts as a
>registration portal for all new nomenclatural acts. The instant it is
>submitted there, an automated message goes out to every taxonomist who
>is a registered user of that venue AND who has self-selected any of the
>following key words: Bombus, Apidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Mexico, "new
>species" (among others). Instead of just 3 anonymous referees, the
>manuscript is thereby opened to review online by *hundreds* of people,
>including the majority of the world's experts on bumblebees. If a person
>like Z is among the reviewers, they CANNOT do anything to usurp the
>taxon as their own, because now there is ONLY ONE VENUE. They would have
>to submit their manuscript for registration to the *same* place, and
>have it seen by the *same* reviewers, as author X - and *including*
>author X! It would be immediately obvious that the two works referred to
>the same taxon, and since author X had submitted first, their
>registration could still be approved, but Z's would definitely be
>rejected. The BEST scenario that Z could hope for here is that X would
>agree to add them as a co-author. In fact, that could turn what might
>otherwise have been a bitter rivalry into a cooperative, win-win
>venture. Especially if author Z had specimens from different localities,
>or male specimens to help better characterize the new species. For that
>matter, ANY of the hundreds of reviewers might have additional specimens
>or data that they could contribute (with or without co-authorship), and
>the resulting species description could be *vastly* improved over the
>one produced under the traditional publishing model. Open review makes a
>level of collaboration possible that is NOT part of the present
>competitive publishing model. So, we'd see not only a BETTER end
>product, but one that is immune to being usurped, and - once registered
>- can be submitted for publication wherever the author wishes, and it
>won't make a difference how long it actually takes to get into print,
>because the date of registration (and availability) of the name is
>*already established* and NOT dependent on the date of printing.
>That last clause is EXTREMELY significant in regards to the present
>debate over dating, pre-prints, digital versus paper, and such: if the
>date a name becomes *available* is the date it is *registered*, then it
>makes no difference at all when the formal publication takes place, or
>where, or whether is is e-only, or hard copy only, or privately printed,
>or printed on demand, etc.
>I have been arguing for some 20 years now that adopting this approach
>would be to everyone's collective benefit, for many, many reasons. No
>longer having to worry about the date of publication (or digital versus
>paper), is just one of those many reasons.
>P.S.: I can imagine several of you immediately leaping forward with
>questions like "But what if author X takes the manuscript after it is
>registered, and changes it before it is published?" "What if they never
>formally publish it?" - and while those are fair questions,
>superficially, I also think you'll see a few things: first, by virtue of
>the open review process, there is virtually no reason that there WOULD
>be any changes between registration and publication. After all, most (if
>not all!) of the potential referees for the print version will have
>*already* reviewed the work. No errors should slip through that would
>require fixing; e.g., if someone's proposed new names are synonyms, or
>homonyms, or there is some other error regarding Code-compliance
>(failure to state type depository, etc.), that would *all* *get worked
>out* before the work could be approved for registration. Second, if
>changes *are* made, there are several options that could render this a
>non-problem. Which option people prefer could be a separate topic for
>discussion, but off the top of my head, (1) declare that only the
>official registered version of the work has *nomenclatural* standing.
>I'm not talking about minor changes in the final published version,
>which would be irrelevant, but something like altering the composition
>of the type series, changing the spelling of a name, etc. Note that this
>would, in effect, make the archived registered work the functional
>equivalent of a digital publication. As such, even if it never got
>"published" anywhere else, the names and acts in it would still be
>available, *and* possible to cite. This is one of the main reasons that
>I advocate that the *entire works* be registered, rather than just a
>minimalist template. (2) If the author insists that a revised published
>version *needs* to replace the previously-registered version (e.g., they
>found a better specimen to be selected as holotype), then - thanks to
>the entire process being archived - everyone who was involved in the
>original registration approval could be sent a follow-up e-mail asking
>whether or not they approve of the revised version; if so, then the
>revised version replaces the original. This could only be done ONCE, in
>conjunction with the first post-registration publication. (3) Some
>publishers might be convinced to accept the registered version *as is*
>and just print it without any further review or editorial process.
>This all could work, and work well.
>Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
>Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
>phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
>Taxacom Mailing List
>Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched at:
>Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years, 1987-2017.

This message is only intended for the addressee named above.  Its contents may be privileged or otherwise protected.  Any unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this message or its contents is prohibited.  If you have received this message by mistake, please notify us immediately by reply mail or by collect telephone call.  Any personal opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily represent the views of the Bishop Museum.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list