The taxonomist - an endangered race : a practical proposal for its survival

Background: Taxonomy or biological systematics is the basic scientific discipline of biology, postulating hypotheses of identity and relationships, on which all other natural sciences dealing with organisms relies. Howev
Background: Taxonomy or biological systematics is the basic scientific discipline of biology, postulating hypotheses of identity and relationships, on which all other natural sciences dealing with organisms relies. However, the scientific contributions of taxonomists have been largely neglected when using species names in scientific publications by not citing the authority on which they are based.

Discussion: Consequences of this neglect is reduced recognition of the importance of taxonomy, which in turn results in diminished funding, lower interest from journals in publishing taxonomic research, and a reduced number of young scientists entering the field. This has lead to the so-called taxonomic impediment at a time when biodiversity studies are of critical importance.

Here we emphasize a practical and obvious solution to this dilemma. We propose that whenever a species name is used, the author(s) of the species hypothesis be included and the original literature source cited, including taxonomic revisions and identification literature - nothing more than what is done for every other hypothesis or assumption included in a scientific publication. In addition, we postulate that journals primarily publishing taxonomic studies should be indexed in ISISM.

Summary: The proposal outlined above would make visible the true contribution of taxonomists within the scientific community, and would provide a more accurate assessment for funding agencies impact and importance of taxonomy, and help in the recruitment of young scientists into the field, thus helping to alleviate the taxonomic impediment. In addition, it would also make much of the biological literature more robust by reducing or alleviating taxonomic uncertainty.

Keywords: Taxonomy crisis; taxonomic impediment; impact factor; original species description; citation index; systematics
show moreshow less

Download full text files

Export metadata

  • Export Bibtex
  • Export RIS

Additional Services

    Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Metadaten
Author:Heike Wägele, Annette Klussmann-Kolb, Michael Kuhlmann, Gerhard Haszprunar, David Lindberg, André Koch, Johann Wolfgang Wägele
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-231657
URL:http://www.frontiersinzoology.com/content/8/1/25
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1186/1742-9994-8-25
ISSN:1742-9994
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in zoology
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2011/11/07
Date of first Publication:2011/10/26
Publishing Institution:Univ.-Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main
Release Date:2011/11/07
Tag:Taxonomy crisis; citation index; impact factor; original species description; systematics; taxonomic impediment
Volume:8
Issue:25
Pagenumber:7
First Page:1
Last Page:7
Note:
© 2011 Wägele et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 
HeBIS PPN:284108499
Institutes:Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Dewey Decimal Classification:590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 2.0

$Rev: 11761 $