Wednesday, February 29, 2012 shut down: Lessons to be learned has been shutdown on February 1, 2012. The story leading to it will be published once the time comes. At the moment, it is important to assure that this source of digital literature for the ant taxonomic community will become life as soon as possible. The technical issues are being dealt in my blog.
Below, I am beginning to write up the lessons being learned during this process. The points will be explained in due course.

There are lessons to be learned from the shut down of antbase.

You are not important.

Policies can change.

There is no institutional commitment to maintain digital work, as is for libraries and physical collections.

Have multiple copies.

Have as much under your own control – even though it comes at a (insurmountable?) cost.

React at the slightest indication of change.

Digital collections are not for the eternity (may be with the exception of images).

Our institutional policies shift, and are not necessarily in accordance with the scientists needs.

Do not even think about the ramification to build a repository.

As a scientist, stay within institutions

Read how to manage and operate within voluntary organizations

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

e-publications and ICZN: this time Psyche

Psyche is another fantastic example of two issues relating to e-publication and the Code: The delay in handling the issue of e-publishing, and the deposition of hard copies.

Psyche, the journal of the Cambridge Entomological Club based at Harvard has been converted in an open access journal run by Hindawi publishers. Recently, they published a special edition “Advances in Neotropical Myrmecology” including the description of new species. Since this is normally an e-only publication, they followed the Code and at the very end, in the acknowledgement mentioned that they deposited hard copies (see eg the Tatuidris paper).

“In accordance with Section 8.6 of the ICZN’s International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, printed copies of the edition of Psyche containing this article are deposited at the following six publicly accessible libraries: Green Library (Stanford University),Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Library—ECORC (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada), Library—Bibliotheek (Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences), Koebenhavns Universitetsbibliotek, University of Hawaii Library”

This is in several ways remarkable.
1. Psyche is published from within the MCZ and Harvard. No copy has been deposited at Harvard.
2. All the libraries have nothing at all to do with the myrmecological world.
3. The citation is somewhat unlike something printed: Psyche, Volume 2012, Article ID 926089, 6 pages
doi:10.1155/2012/926089, but one could use it as Psyche 2012 (926089): 1-6
4. The indication that hard copies have been deposited has been hidden at the very unusual place, the acknowledgments at the end of the article.

The remarkable point here is, that this is not an obscure renegade journal, but a very successful OA publisher, a very old journal and from within the hear of taxonomy. Or have the centers of gravity shifted?