[Taxacom] Paper on describing genera without molecules

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Tue Mar 28 09:35:36 CDT 2017

BARNA PÁLL-GERGELY 2017 Should we describe genera without molecular
phylogenies? Zootaxa 4232 (4): 593–596

Responded to apparent pressure for invalidating morphological approaches to
proposing new genera.

Necessary changes in the review process
What we need, is better editorial practice. To overcome this recent trend,
I suggest considering the following points:
(1) Authors have to justify their conclusions clearly with their data.
Also, if the reason is other than no access to
molecular laboratory and funds, they should state the reason why molecular
phylogeny is not performed.
(2) Editors need to understand the hypothesis-driven nature of taxonomy,
systematics and phylogeny, and need to be
able to ignore reviewers who do not engage the subject.
(3) Reviewers should refrain from rejecting the description of new genera
on the basis of the lack of molecular data.
Instead, they should be critical of poorly defined genera, no clear gaps in
the morphological continuum, overlapping
character states across genus-group taxa, and genera awaiting descriptions
based on non-conventional morphological
(4) Taxonomic journals could state whether they allow, discourage or
prohibit descriptions of taxa above species
level without molecular phylogenetic support. On one hand, this would allow
the authors to prepare to the nature of
reviews, and choose journals where the lack of sequence data will not
result in changing the proposed taxonomic
decisions. On the other hand, this would create a rather harmful division
in how journals deal with taxonomic

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