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

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Jan 12 13:24:49 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?

These are excellent question that would absolutely need to be discussed.  However, I think they have much easier (technical) answers than the more fundamental questions concerning how much should the wall between nomenclature and taxonomy be maintained, and whether or not (and how) to incorporate subjective human review as part of the *mandatory* process for establishing new names/acts (see my previous long post for more details).

> 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.

The way I imagine it working for such cases is that there would be a defined time-period of, say, one month where people could comment on each registration record.  If that period expires without a minimum number of comments (>1, but not sure how much more than one), then then name is automatically accepted (i.e., newly proposed names are available until proven unavailable, which is how the system has always been).  I don't think the problem will be with the names that nobody reviews.  I think the problem will be the ones that have MANY reviews, with no clear consensus.  This will be PARTICULARLY problematic if too much "taxonomy" is entangled with the nomenclatural process (e.g., I foresee endless splitter vs. lumper debates).

> 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?

See my point above.  The new registration would still need to ride out the minimum time period for review.  One wouldn't have to be self-assigned to a group to submit comments/review.  So anytime during that period, anyone could discover the registration and make some comment on it.  But, if after a reasonable period of time there is no comment at all, then the name would be assumed to be available (as is currently the case -- where names are assumed to be available when published until discovered to be unavailable).


Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences | Associate Zoologist in Ichthyology | Dive Safety Officer
Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252 email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org

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