Descriptive systematics (or taxonomy) progresses through a series of printed revisions, either in books or in journals devoted to systematics. In the past five volumes of Insect Systematics & Evolution (vols 29-33, 1998-2002), about 50% of the papers represent taxonomic revisions and reviews of smaller or larger groups of insects, spi- ders and millipedes. Such works are the landmarks of biodiversity research, each setting a new stan- dard of reference for future work on that particular group. Any serious revision or monographic work about a given group of organisms should, besides diagnoses, illustrated descriptions and keys, in- clude a careful consideration of all previous litera- ture on that group (particularly works of nomen- clatural significance), regardless it was published last year or a century ago. Any properly conducted revision will last until it is replaced by a new one, usually when the number of undescribed species becomes large enough to warrant a new or supple- mentary revision. Some biologists (chiefly non-taxonomists) see it as a problem that taxonomic publications main- tain relevance for many years and are widely scat- tered in journals with low “citation impact fac- tors”, and poor accessibility. Godfray (2002) char- acterizes the taxonomy of
Insect Systematics & Evolution – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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