Pseudo-Taxonomy on the WWW

Geoff Read gread at
Sat Oct 19 12:47:30 EST 1996

Jim Blake wrote:
> the Annelid WWW Site most certainly does not constitute a journal and 
> any citation of this work must be something like Parker (unpublished).

Of course there are ways of citing Internet original work in paper docs,
and the above way would not be the accepted one for WWW which is something

Parker, Thomas [mblcsdla at]  (October 1996). "Misdiagnosis of
Parandalia ocularis (Polychaeta: Pilargidae)."

The date would be date of visit rather than publication.

> ... To do 
> nothing more than post a non-reviewed article on the WWW is akin to 
> providing anecdotal comments as are in this NewsGroup and in 
> newsletters. 

Anything can be cited, and perhaps the more people who see it the more
substance it gains. If necessary we can cite Jim's cautionary msg in
print as: 
Blake, Jim (18 Oct 1996) "Pseudo-Taxonomy on the WWW."
annelida at

> This posting raises the larger question as to whether the Annelid WWW 
> Site should post such items in the first place when such a posting 
> obviously infringes on the Rules established for what constitutes a 
> publication by the ICZN.  The very professional, PostScript appearance 
> of documents printed from the WWW can be misleading because such 
> documents have the printed appearance found in journals and in of 
> themselves appear to be publications especially when the illustrations 
> are imbedded within the text.

Umm, they are publications.

However, as Jim validly points out, this particular page is not a
publication for the purposes of the current ICZN and there is thus
possibly a difficulty if someone assumed it was, and also assumed a new
synonym was established, even though Tom did not, in my opinion, go that

We will take Jim's comments to heart and will probably add a caveat of
some sort. Meantime the page is withdrawn. I should point out that Tom &
I had not yet 'released' it publicly, and I was responsible for making the
link available slightly prematurely and not checking if it was a preprint
of a submitted paper.

Web publications are very useful, electronic preprints are very useful,
and I would not like to think 'pseudo' an entirely appropriate tag for
taxonomic commentary that happens to be on the annelid resources site. I
would like to see more of it since it is one good way of rapidly
providing ideas and content for debate and feedback (very rapid as it
happened!). It is unfortunately also the case that it is difficult to get
due credit for the work involved if it is not also submitted elsewhere.


   Geoff Read <gread at>
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