Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Online publications now valid for zoological nomenclature

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature has issued a Statement on Validity & Electronic Publication, clarifying earlier confusion over whether online publications are taxonomic naming purposes. Excerpt:
... [T]he Commission recognises that peer-reviewed, high-quality scientific journals with electronic-only versions and digital archiving are becoming increasingly common and desirable places to publish. We are currently working on Code amendments to enable the validity of nomenclatural acts published in such journals. We anticipate resolution of this issue within the next year (March 2009). ...
See also Matthew Cockerill, ICZN takes first step towards bringing zoological species nomenclature into the electronic age, BioMed Central Blog, June 24, 2008:
... The difficulties involved in publishing species descriptions in online open access journals are ironic, given that the closed-access traditional publishing model causes even more problems for taxonomists than for other researchers. Because species are defined by the articles which first describe them, taxonomic work often depends crucially on access to previously published articles, and copyright restrictions on use present a major problem for taxonomic databases, to which open access publication is the natural solution. ...

Update. Correction: Online publications are not yet valid for zoological nomenclature but may soon become valid. Thanks to Donat Agosti for the correction.