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How to … Ensure best practice for effective publication

These suggestions are based on Recommendations in the Code (Rec. 29A, 30A, and 31B). Some of these Recommendations are aimed at publishers as well as authors, and indeed some may be beyond the control of authors.

  • Give preference to periodicals that regularly publish taxonomic articles, and avoid publishing in non-scientific periodicals.

  • Even better, publish your work in the kinds of journals where the content is automatically indexed and integrated into diverse databases. Such journals may provide information on where they are indexed.

  • If you are worried that the taxonomic community may not notice your publication (printed or electronic), at least send a copy to an indexing centre appropriate to the taxonomic group, e.g. the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) for vascular plants; better yet, publish somewhere more visible.

  • Avoid publishing in ephemeral printed matter of any kind (e.g. corrigenda or errata slips), and in particular printed matter that is produced in small numbers. Printed matter should be deposited in at least ten generally accessible libraries throughout the world, but preferably more (ideally hundreds). Distributing two photocopies to two libraries—the barest minimum—is simply an abuse of the system and will invite ridicule!

  • When publishing electronically, give preference to publications that are archived and curated (for details, see Rec. 29A.2) and that comply with the PDF/A archival standard (ISO 19005).

  • Mention the nomenclatural novelties in your publication in the summary or abstract, or list them in an index (some journals as a matter of routine include a list of the nomenclatural novelties published in each issue).

  • Clearly indicate versions of the same electronic publication as either preliminary or final upon first issuing them; only use the phrase "Version of Record" to indicate the final version in which the content will not change.

  • Clearly cite the precise date of publication on the printed matter. For electronic publications, cite the precise date of publication and the ISSN or ISBN on the actual PDF, not merely on the page that links to the PDF nor merely in the metadata; likewise the journal name and volume/issue/article numbers if applicable.

  • To facilitate citation, final versions of electronic publications should contain final (not preliminary) pagination.

For more information, see Best practice – publishing effectively in Chapter 4 Media for publication in The Code Decoded.

Do you have another general nomenclatural question, and want a how-to guide to help?

You can submit questions here.

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