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Revision of ICZN - Electronic Publication

Started by Kai, November 03, 2008, 06:16:02 PM

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I just received this from my professor. Its pretty exciting for taxonomists, because this revision of the International Code of Zoologic Nomenclature (ICZN) will allow for names published in electronic formats to be recognized.

Meaning: Low cost, paperless publication of new species descriptions. This is especially important in invertebratology, and entomology, where new species are being described all the time. Making it easier to publish new species descriptions by allowing electronic format will hopefully mean that more new species descriptions will be published. Many times, its a matter of cost, time, and effort for someone to publish a new species, especially for third world areas of the globe. As you know, I had been working on a new species till I realized how little time I have and how much work it is.

Furthermore, the electronic publishing of new species means A) instantaneous knowlege of the new species across the world and B) easy dissemination of the new species information. If you look at the nomenclatural background information of many older species, they have a long long list of synonyms after the currently recognized name. Those are all previous descriptions and changes in taxonomy, often because people working on the same organism across the world were unable to communicate. Since the onset of the internet, this confusion does not happen much anymore (thank fuck).

This is all good stuff for taxonomists, and no, it doesn't remove the peer review process, just makes the actual publishing process easier. Journals like Zootaxa are trying to go almost completely electronic (for good reason), and this will help.
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I'm definitely in favor of any move towards paperless publication.  Makes the whole process quicker and easier to share.
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