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

Lyubomir Penev lyubo.penev at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 02:52:56 CST 2017


As we have discussed with you before, we do have such a system and
technical infrastructure in place. Saying that, I am very far from
pretending that any of our journals should become the "only" place for
publication of new names. Please do not get me wrong in that respect!

I would imagine that such a system would work in the following way:

   1. Author submits a manuscript to a journal
   2. Journal (perhaps after some technical checks) opens the manuscript
   for open peer review and automatically notifies all users that have
   registered themselves for that taxon. Depending on the group, the
   registration of reviewers can work at any taxonomic rank, assuming that
   family and order ranks will be most widely used. If there are no reviewers
   registered at a certain taxonomic rank, then the notifications could go to
   all who have registered for the higher taxon rank, etc.
   3. The manuscript is open for review for a certain period, say, 4 weeks.
   All reviews, comments and replies are publicly available open to all, or
   perhaps only to reviewers registered for the particular taxon, or for all
   registered users (just a matter of policy!).
   4. The author revises the manuscript and re-submits it to the public.
   5. The subject editor decides to accept or reject it, based on the
   reviews and revisions. If there are NO reviews, the subject editor may have
   the rights to either accept or reject it by him/herself. His/her letter of
   acceptance/rejection willbe made open to the public as well.
   6. Once accepted, the manuscript will be OFFICIALLY published at a
   certain date, which means assigning DOI, REGISTRATION of the new names at
   ZooBank, and ARCHIVING in trusted international repositories.
   7. After the official publication, the author may decide to publish a
   revised/corrected version of the same article (for example to correct a
   name, or even to add some new taxa to a checklist, or to a monographic
   revision). In our system, the author needs only to press a button to return
   the article back into editing mode, correct and publish it again (with or
   without peer-review - just a matter of policy!) under a new DOI linked to
   the previous version(s) via CrossMark. Previous versions are not erased
   from the website, they are considered as earlier official version(s) of the

I would love to test the workflow with a keen group of taxonomists in a
real-time pilot.

Very best,

On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 8:55 PM, Doug Yanega <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.
> Sincerely,
> --
> 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
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