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Title: Data publication and dissemination of interactive keys under the open access model

item PENEV, L. - Bulgarian Academy Of Sciences
item SHARKEY, M. - University Of Kentucky
item ERWIN, T. - Smithsonian Institute
item VAN NOORT, S. - Iziko Museums Of Cape Town
item Buffington, Matthew
item SELTMANN, K. - North Carolina State University
item JOHNSON, N. - The Ohio State University
item TAYLOR, MATT - University Of Queensland
item THOMPSON, F. CHRISTIAN - Smithsonian Institute
item DALLWITZ, MICHAEL - Description Language For Taxonomy (DELTA)

Submitted to: ZooKeys
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2009
Publication Date: 9/26/2009
Citation: Penev, L., Sharkey, M.J., Erwin, T., Van Noort, S., Buffington, M.L., Seltmann, K., Johnson, N., Taylor, M., Thompson, F., Dallwitz, M.J. 2009. Data publication and dissemination of interactive keys under the open access model. ZooKeys. 21:1-17.

Interpretive Summary: Zoological keys are some of the most important tools for the identification of plant and animal species on the planet. Traditional keys in printed journals are often technologically limited, and hence, their usefulness is likewise limited. Modern methods of photography, coupled with digital dissemination of data, either via the world wide web or cd-rom, are tools that can help change how keys are made and shared with other researchers. This paper suggests how such modern keys can be made and standardized across all groups of plants and animals. Other researchers, ecologists and extension agents will greatly benefit from modern, standardized keys.

Technical Abstract: The concepts of publication, citation and dissemination of interactive keys and other online keys are discussed and illustrated by a sample paper published in the present issue (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.21.271). The present model is based on previous experience with several existing examples of publishing online keys. However, this model also suggests ways to publish, cite, preserve, disseminate and reuse the original data files to the benefit of the authors, future workers, and society in general. To be regarded as a “formal scientific publication,” an online key should satisfy the same criteria of peer review, registration, persistence, bibliographic description, etc., as conventional publications. Keys can be published in a form of either “static” or “dynamic” publications. We define a “static” publication as a discrete unit of information preserved in a persistent and unchangeable way on the publisher’s Web site and/or on paper and consequently in conventional/electronic libraries and archives. This contrasts with the nature of the Internet, which allows and tends to encourage updating and improvement on a continuing basis. We call “dynamic” a publication of an interactive key on a Web site where its contents can be continuously updated. “Dynamic” publications meet some of the criteria of a “formal scientific publication” (identification, citation and location), while they lack other important features of it (persistence, archiving, indexing, science metric and citation metric services). Dynamic Web-based interactive keys may benefit from publishing the first version of their underlying datasets in a form of “formal scientific publication”. We define here the minimum set of data files to be published for several different platforms (Intkey, Lucid2, Lucid3, MX) to ensure both (1) priority, identification, location and citation of the firstly published work and (2) future use and re-use of the keys.