A Position Paper on the Electronic Publication of Nematode Taxonomic Manuscripts

. Eyualem-Abebe, James G. Baldwin, Byron Adams, Duane Hope, Scott Gardner, Robin Huettel, Peter Mullin, Topper Powers, Jyotsna Sharma, Weiman Ye, William K. Thomas

Abstract


Several nematode species have now attained `model organism' status, yet there remain many niches in basic biological inquiry for which nematodes would be ideal model systems of study. However, furthering the model system approach is hindered by lack of information on nematode biodiversity. The shortage of taxonomic resources to inventory and characterize biodiversity hinders research programs in invasion biology, ecosystem functioning, conservation biology, and many others. The disproportion between numbers of species to be described and numbers of available taxonomic specialists is greater for Nematoda than for any other metazoan phylum. A partial solution to the taxonomic impediment is the adoption of recent advances in electronic publishing. Electronic publishing has the potential to increase the rate at which taxonomic papers are published, the breadth of their distribution, and the type, quantity, quality, and accessibility of data. We propose that the Journal of Nematology implement the advantageous aspects of electronic publication as a means to help ameliorate the limitations of an underdeveloped taxonomy and empower the nematological disciplines currently hindered by it.

Keywords


data integration; digital multifocal images; electronic publication; nematode taxonomy; online descriptions; position paper.

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