Naming of animal species moves into the digital age

A landmark decision by the body that regulates zoological names has ended the centuries-old rule that new animal species must be described in a printed journal.

After a highly-charged debate among taxonomists lasting four years, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) has passed an amendment to its code, allowing electronic publication of new names, under certain conditions.

The amendment, published simultaneously in Zookeys and Zootaxa journals, changes the code to accept electronic-only publishing as ‘legitimate’ if it meets criteria of archiving and the publication is registered at the ICZN’s official online registry, Zoobank.

Read text of amendment here…

Read ICZN press release here …