Taxonomists recognize the inevitable

Big announcement this morning from the International Council on Zoological Nomenclature, the group that regulates taxonomic naming of animals. The council is now allowing electronic-only publication. Paper is dead!

Zookeys has more:

The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature has voted in favour of a revised version of the amendment to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature that was proposed in 2008. The purpose of the amendment is to expand and refine the methods of publication allowed by the Code, particularly in relation to electronic publication. The amendment establishes an Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (with ZooBank as its online version), allows electronic publication after 2011 under certain conditions, and disallows publication on optical discs after 2012. The requirements for electronic publications are that the work be registered in ZooBank before it is published, that the work itself state the date of publication and contain evidence that registration has occurred, and that the ZooBank registration state both the name of an electronic archive intended to preserve the work and the ISSN or ISBN associated with the work. Registration of new scientific names and nomenclatural acts is not required. The Commission has confirmed that ZooBank is ready to handle the requirements of the amendment.

4 thoughts on “Taxonomists recognize the inevitable”

  1. It’s been a long time coming, but it is good to see that finally ICZN admitted that this whole Internet craze is here to stay. Exciting, but also a bit scary. I do hope that paper is not dead, yet. When I sit by my microscope, I still prefer to have a stack of taxonomic papers next to me, rather than slowly scroll through one PDF at a time. I may change my mind, however, when the digital publishing technology catches up with the human-book interface.

    1. I suppose this can be seen as a cost-shifting measure. Sure, some electronic articles are free. But then we’re on the hook for more paper & toner.

      Still, I’m pleased.

  2. I enjoy entomology and myrmecology as a hobby. The one frustrating thing I have run into is the available taxonomy documents online. I have spent many an hour looking through local college libraries during my travels and have even made the attempt to purchase the ones I really thought useful from used book dealers. So for me, from an entry level point of view, I am exited about this change in mentality.

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