Implementing the Digital Taxonomic Revolution:Alternate Strategies for a Web-Based Registryof Taxonomic NamesRichard PyleB...
Registration and PublicationRegistrationThe process of entering a completerecord in the ZooBank registry.PublicationICZN-c...
Registration and PublicationThe “Three Scenarios”Scenario #1(Publication + Registration) = AvailabilityScenario #2Registra...
Scenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = AvailabilitySummary• To be available, names & acts must bothbe published in acc...
Procedure (Pre-Publication)Journal/BookJournal/Book Taxon Author(s)Taxon Author(s) ICZN/ZooBankICZN/ZooBankSubmits online ...
Procedure (Post-Publication, within 2 years)Journal/BookJournal/Book Author(s)/3rdPartyAuthor(s)/3rdParty ICZN/ZooBankICZN...
Procedure (More than 2 years Post-Publication)Journal/BookJournal/Book Author(s)/3rdPartyAuthor(s)/3rdParty ICZN/ZooBankIC...
Advantages• Relatively small change to existingtaxonomic practice• Fast implementation via Amendment tothe 4thEdition Code...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Somewhat complex procedure involvingasynchronous publication andregistration events, arbitra...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Somewhat ambiguous “gray zone” afterpublication and before registrationwhen names & acts are...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Still suffers from all the complexitiesand ambiguities associated withtraditional paper-publ...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Requires (possibly extensive) increasein active role of ICZN staff (andassociated costs) to ...
Summary• The process of registration itself is allthat is required for availability of newnames & acts• Prior or subsequen...
Procedure (Pre-Publication)Journal/BookJournal/Book Taxon Author(s)Taxon Author(s) ICZN/ZooBankICZN/ZooBankRegisters name/...
Advantages• Legalities of nomenclatural availabilityand science of taxonomy aredisentangled from each other• No ambiguity ...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Fundamental change to the waytaxonomic names and acts areestablished (eliminating Publicatio...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• More extensive changes likely neededin the Code, such that it could probablyonly be implemen...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Taxonomists would lose their primarybenchmark for establishing professionalstatus (i.e., the...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Journals might no longer publishtaxonomic descriptions if the articles nolonger carry the “p...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Elimination of quality control/peerreview from process of establishingnew names and nomencla...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Bad taxonomists (and non-taxonomists)might abuse the system by registeringhundreds of bogus ...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Lazy taxonomists might never getaround to publishing the full descriptionafter the name is r...
Summary• The Registration Web site hosts a full-blown, edited, peer-reviewed onlinejournal (like ZooTaxa) in which ALLname...
Procedure (Pre-Publication)Taxon Author(s)Taxon Author(s) ICZN/ZooBank/PublicationICZN/ZooBank/PublicationIf ultimately ac...
Advantages• All taxonomic publications wouldappear in a single venue (as is nowdone for Bacteria), instead of scatteredacr...
Advantages• All manuscripts are examined by a largecontingent of reviewers, instead of justa handful, greatly improving th...
Advantages• A dedicated nomenclatural journalmeans that the review criteria willexplicitly address all necessary aspectsof...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Represents a MAJOR and fundamentalchange to the way taxonomy is done,both in terms of legali...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Many taxonomic groups do not havemany (or even any) experts who wouldserve as reviewers, and...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• More extensive changes likely neededin the Code, such that it could probablyonly be implemen...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Such a system would impose a hugeburden on the taxonomic community toprovide peer reviews to...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Existing journals that depend ontaxonomic descriptions andnomenclatural acts to fill their p...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• The criteria for determining when asubmitted manuscript should bedeemed “accepted”, and when...
Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• The legalities of nomenclaturalavailability and the subjective scienceof taxonomy would, for...
References Citedhttp://list.afriherp.org/pipermail/zoobank-list/2005-September/000003.htmlZooBank Technical Article:Doug Y...
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Richard Pyle - Implementing the Digital Taxonomic Revolution: Strategies for a Successful Web-Based Registry of Taxonomic Names

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Richard Pyle - Implementing the Digital Taxonomic Revolution: Strategies for a Successful Web-Based Registry of Taxonomic Names

  1. 1. Implementing the Digital Taxonomic Revolution:Alternate Strategies for a Web-Based Registryof Taxonomic NamesRichard PyleBishop MuseumHonolulu
  2. 2. Registration and PublicationRegistrationThe process of entering a completerecord in the ZooBank registry.PublicationICZN-compliant published works, asdefined in Chapter 3 (Arts. 7-9) of the 4thEdition of the ICZN Code.Available Name (Availability)A scientific name applied to an animaltaxon that conforms to the provisions ofthe ICZN Code of nomenclature.
  3. 3. Registration and PublicationThe “Three Scenarios”Scenario #1(Publication + Registration) = AvailabilityScenario #2Registration = AvailabilityScenario #3Registration = Publication = Availability- ZooBank Technical Article, pp. 3-5- ZooBank Technical Article, pp. 5-9- Doug Yanega Post to ZooBank List, 22 Sep 2005
  4. 4. Scenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = AvailabilitySummary• To be available, names & acts must bothbe published in accordance withexisting Code rules, and be registered• Registration can take place eitherbefore publication, or after publication• If before or within 2 years after, date ofavailability is publication date; if morethan 2 years after, date of availability isregistration date*
  5. 5. Procedure (Pre-Publication)Journal/BookJournal/Book Taxon Author(s)Taxon Author(s) ICZN/ZooBankICZN/ZooBankSubmits online / hard copy formto ICZN with details ofnomenclatural actSubmits online / hard copy formto ICZN with details ofnomenclatural actAssigns GUID & returns form &GUID to Author(s) with statementof Code complianceAssigns GUID & returns form &GUID to Author(s) with statementof Code complianceSubmits manuscript forpublication, with GUID andcopy of ICZN returned formSubmits manuscript forpublication, with GUID andcopy of ICZN returned formPublishes name/act with GUIDin full accordance with ICZNChapter 3 (Arts. 7-9)Publishes name/act with GUIDin full accordance with ICZNChapter 3 (Arts. 7-9)Sends copy of (relevant portionof) published name/act &reference to ICZN, with originalform and GUIDSends copy of (relevant portionof) published name/act &reference to ICZN, with originalform and GUID Verifies publication, makes GUIDpublic with registration detailsVerifies publication, makes GUIDpublic with registration detailsName is Available, using date ofPublication for priority purposesName is Available, using date ofPublication for priority purposesScenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  6. 6. Procedure (Post-Publication, within 2 years)Journal/BookJournal/Book Author(s)/3rdPartyAuthor(s)/3rdParty ICZN/ZooBankICZN/ZooBankVerifies publication and form forCode compliance, assigns GUID& makes GUID public withregistration detailsVerifies publication and form forCode compliance, assigns GUID& makes GUID public withregistration detailsSubmits manuscript containingname/act for publication(as normal current practice)Submits manuscript containingname/act for publication(as normal current practice)Publishes name/act in fullaccordance with ICZN Chapter3 (Arts. 7-9)Publishes name/act in fullaccordance with ICZN Chapter3 (Arts. 7-9)Submits online / hard copy formto ICZN with copy of (relevantportion of) published name/act& reference within 2 years ofpublication dateSubmits online / hard copy formto ICZN with copy of (relevantportion of) published name/act& reference within 2 years ofpublication dateName is Available, using date ofPublication for priority purposesName is Available, using date ofPublication for priority purposesScenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  7. 7. Procedure (More than 2 years Post-Publication)Journal/BookJournal/Book Author(s)/3rdPartyAuthor(s)/3rdParty ICZN/ZooBankICZN/ZooBankVerifies publication and form forCode compliance, assigns GUID& makes GUID public withregistration detailsVerifies publication and form forCode compliance, assigns GUID& makes GUID public withregistration detailsSubmits manuscript containingname/act for publication(as normal current practice)Submits manuscript containingname/act for publication(as normal current practice)Publishes name/act in fullaccordance with ICZN Chapter3 (Arts. 7-9)Publishes name/act in fullaccordance with ICZN Chapter3 (Arts. 7-9)Submits online / hard copy formto ICZN with copy of (relevantportion of) published name/act& reference within 2 years ofpublication dateSubmits online / hard copy formto ICZN with copy of (relevantportion of) published name/act& reference within 2 years ofpublication dateName is Available, using date ofRegistration for priority purposes*Name is Available, using date ofRegistration for priority purposes*Scenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  8. 8. Advantages• Relatively small change to existingtaxonomic practice• Fast implementation via Amendment tothe 4thEdition Code• Maintains implicit quality control viatraditional publication venues• Perhaps broader acceptance bytaxonomic community?Scenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  9. 9. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Somewhat complex procedure involvingasynchronous publication andregistration events, arbitrary timeperiods affecting date of availability,and petitions to the Commission incertain special circumstances• Not really that complicated, in the context of allthe existing complexities of the ICZN CodeScenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  10. 10. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Somewhat ambiguous “gray zone” afterpublication and before registrationwhen names & acts are “assumed” tobe available, even though technicallynot available until registered• Most authors will probably register new namesprior to publication, eliminating this problementirelyScenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  11. 11. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Still suffers from all the complexitiesand ambiguities associated withtraditional paper-publication entangledwith nomenclatural availability• Not really much different from how it’s currentlydone, so not an increase in complexityScenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  12. 12. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Requires (possibly extensive) increasein active role of ICZN staff (andassociated costs) to processregistration requests and verify Codecompliance for issuance of GUIDs andexposing registration details to public• No rebuttalScenario #1:(Publication + Registration) = Availability
  13. 13. Summary• The process of registration itself is allthat is required for availability of newnames & acts• Prior or subsequent publication throughtraditional venues is encouraged, but isnot integral to nomenclatural availabilityScenario #2:Registration = Availability
  14. 14. Procedure (Pre-Publication)Journal/BookJournal/Book Taxon Author(s)Taxon Author(s) ICZN/ZooBankICZN/ZooBankRegisters name/act withZooBank registry service, orsubmits hard-copy form withrelevant minimum details toICZN for registrationRegisters name/act withZooBank registry service, orsubmits hard-copy form withrelevant minimum details toICZN for registrationOnce Registration entry iscomplete, assigns GUIDautomaticallyOnce Registration entry iscomplete, assigns GUIDautomaticallySubmits manuscript forpublication, with scientificrationale and full-blowndescription/detailsSubmits manuscript forpublication, with scientificrationale and full-blowndescription/detailsPublishes manuscript ifpasses peer-review process(or not), with no implicationsfor nomenclatural availabilityPublishes manuscript ifpasses peer-review process(or not), with no implicationsfor nomenclatural availabilityOptionally sends copy/facsimileof publication & reference toICZN, linked to relevantRegistration entryOptionally sends copy/facsimileof publication & reference toICZN, linked to relevantRegistration entryName is Available, using date ofRegistration for priority purposesName is Available, using date ofRegistration for priority purposesScenario #2:Registration = Availability
  15. 15. Advantages• Legalities of nomenclatural availabilityand science of taxonomy aredisentangled from each other• No ambiguity about date of Availability• Existing complexities of nomenclaturalavailability of published works are moot• Only minor increase to active role ofICZN staff (and associated costs)Scenario #2:Registration = Availability
  16. 16. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Fundamental change to the waytaxonomic names and acts areestablished (eliminating Publicationprocess from act of nomenclaturalavailability)• Not from the perspective of the taxonomists(virtually same as Scenario #1)• Only change to technical legality ofnomenclatural availability, not necessarilychange to taxonomic practiceScenario #2:Registration = Availability
  17. 17. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• More extensive changes likely neededin the Code, such that it could probablyonly be implemented in the 5thEdition ofthe ICZN Code (perhaps 5-10 yearsaway; well past 2008)• So be it – it will probably take several years towork out the details and demonstrate thefeasibility via a working voluntary registrationsystem anywayScenario #2:Registration = Availability
  18. 18. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Taxonomists would lose their primarybenchmark for establishing professionalstatus (i.e., their CV’s would have fewerpublications listed)• Professional status is established by publishingarticles on scientific taxonomy and classification,which would continue exactly as before (only thelegalities of nomenclature would be dissociatedfrom publications – not the science of taxonomy)Scenario #2:Registration = Availability
  19. 19. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Journals might no longer publishtaxonomic descriptions if the articles nolonger carry the “prestige” ofestablishing new names and acts inaccordance with ICZN rules• Prestige in scientific publications comes from thequality of the science content of the publishedarticles; not from fulfilling a legalistic technicalityfor nomenclatural availabilityScenario #2:Registration = Availability
  20. 20. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Elimination of quality control/peerreview from process of establishingnew names and nomenclatural acts• No different from current situation or Scenario #1,because the ICZN Code does not require peerreview or quality control (nor should it?)• True, but the ICZN requirement forpublication de-facto forces most names& acts through peer review• No rebuttalScenario #2:Registration = Availability
  21. 21. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Bad taxonomists (and non-taxonomists)might abuse the system by registeringhundreds of bogus and unneedednames, perhaps for unscrupulousreasons (e.g., selling names for money)• Again: no difference from current situation orScenario #1, because the ICZN Code does notrequire peer review or quality control (e.g., self-publishing)Scenario #2:Registration = Availability
  22. 22. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Lazy taxonomists might never getaround to publishing the full descriptionafter the name is registered, potentiallycreating many names without robusttaxonomic definitions• Once again: no difference from current situation orScenario #1, because nothing is currently stoppinglazy taxonomists from self-publishing minimalistdescriptions that meet minimal Code requirements,exactly as a Registration entry wouldScenario #2:Registration = Availability
  23. 23. Summary• The Registration Web site hosts a full-blown, edited, peer-reviewed onlinejournal (like ZooTaxa) in which ALLnames and acts must be published• The science of taxonomy becomes partof the nomenclatural process (by Code)• Submitted manuscripts are open to non-anonymous review by any interested orconcerned taxonomistScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  24. 24. Procedure (Pre-Publication)Taxon Author(s)Taxon Author(s) ICZN/ZooBank/PublicationICZN/ZooBank/PublicationIf ultimately accepted via the review process,names/acts are deemed to be formally registeredIf ultimately accepted via the review process,names/acts are deemed to be formally registeredManuscript is posted publicly, and open to non-anonymous review by any interested taxonomist(automated alert system notifies community of newnames/acts within their taxonomic groups of interest)Manuscript is posted publicly, and open to non-anonymous review by any interested taxonomist(automated alert system notifies community of newnames/acts within their taxonomic groups of interest)Submits manuscript for publication, withscientific rationale and full-blowndescription/details, to single onlinejournal administered by ZooBankSubmits manuscript for publication, withscientific rationale and full-blowndescription/details, to single onlinejournal administered by ZooBankRevises manuscript, in accordance withcomments & criticisms received fromonline reviewersRevises manuscript, in accordance withcomments & criticisms received fromonline reviewersName is Available, using date ofAcceptance for priority purposesName is Available, using date ofAcceptance for priority purposesScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  25. 25. Advantages• All taxonomic publications wouldappear in a single venue (as is nowdone for Bacteria), instead of scatteredacross thousands of journals• No longer the potential for one author to“steal” another’s work by trying tosubmit a plagiarized work to a journalthat has a faster turnaround timeScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  26. 26. Advantages• All manuscripts are examined by a largecontingent of reviewers, instead of justa handful, greatly improving the reviewsas well as democratizing the process• The reviews are public, instead ofanonymous, so personal grudges orbiases of the reviewers are exposed toscrutiny by the whole communityScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  27. 27. Advantages• A dedicated nomenclatural journalmeans that the review criteria willexplicitly address all necessary aspectsof code-compliance and propernomenclature• All the other advantages of an onlinereview process (fast, iterative, open tobidirectional feedback, etc.)• NO COPYRIGHT ISSUES!!!Scenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  28. 28. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Represents a MAJOR and fundamentalchange to the way taxonomy is done,both in terms of legalities ofnomenclature and for the science oftaxonomy• With such major changes come majoradvantages, and the trade-off is worth itScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  29. 29. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Many taxonomic groups do not havemany (or even any) experts who wouldserve as reviewers, and thus submittedmanuscripts may never receive peer-review• This problem is equally true for traditionalpublication venues as well; but with only one“official” taxonomic journal with potentiallythousands of regular participants, there is a betterchance of finding someone who is qualified toreview the manuscriptScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  30. 30. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• More extensive changes likely neededin the Code, such that it could probablyonly be implemented in the 5thEdition ofthe ICZN Code (perhaps 5-10 yearsaway; well past 2008)• So be it – it will probably take several years towork out the details and demonstrate thefeasibility via a working voluntary registrationsystem anywayScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  31. 31. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Such a system would impose a hugeburden on the taxonomic community toprovide peer reviews to 20,000+ newnames each year• No more burden than already exists: for everymanuscript that is submitted and reviewedthrough the official ZooBank online journal, onefewer manuscript is submitted to a traditionaljournal (i.e., no net increase in total number ofmanuscripts to review)Scenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  32. 32. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• Existing journals that depend ontaxonomic descriptions andnomenclatural acts to fill their pagesand maintain a subscriber base may bedriven out of business• Since when is it the job of scientists to keepjournal publishers in business? Journals exist toserve scientists, not the other way aroundScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  33. 33. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• The criteria for determining when asubmitted manuscript should bedeemed “accepted”, and when (and bywhom) will always be a subjective andcontentious issue• Each manuscript would be assigned to animpartial “referee” (whose specialty is outside theparticular taxon involved), who is fully versed inthe ICZN Code – serving the same role as ajournal editorScenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability
  34. 34. Disadvantages (and Rebuttal)• The legalities of nomenclaturalavailability and the subjective scienceof taxonomy would, for the first time, beformally coupled under Code rules• And this is bad because....?Scenario #3:Registration = Publication = Availability(i.e., some people feel that quality control/peerreview should be part of the Code requirementsfor nomenclatural availability)
  35. 35. References Citedhttp://list.afriherp.org/pipermail/zoobank-list/2005-September/000003.htmlZooBank Technical Article:Doug Yanega Post to ZooBank List, 22 Sep 2005:http://www.iczn.org/new%20ZooBank.htmPolaszek et al., 2005. ZooBank: the open-accessregister for zoological taxonomy: TechnicalDiscussion Paper. ICZN Website. 10 pp.

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