Arch Virol (2003) 148: 609–611
Taxonomic proposals on the web: New ICTV consultative
M. A. Mayo
, C. M. Fauquet
, and J. Maniloff
Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, U.K.
ILTAB/Danforth Plant Science Center, University of Missouri St Louis,
St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry,
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rochester, NewYork, U.S.A.
Received December 1, 2002; accepted January 10, 2003
Published online March 3, 2003
The procedures by which virus taxonomy is modiﬁed to accommodate new data and new ideas
has evolved over the decades since the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses
(ICTV) was established. The current procedure is speciﬁed in the Statutes . In practice
this has meant that proposals to change virus taxonomy and nomenclature are presented
to the ICTV Executive Committee (EC), usually, but not exclusively, by the appropriate
Subcommittee Chair. The proposals are then discussed by the EC and, either immediately
or after further consultation with the proposers, proposals (including modiﬁcations in some
cases) that are acceptable are recommended to the full ICTV membership, who vote on their
The EC has recently experimented with use of the ICTVnet (a network that links all those
involved in ICTV work) to allow more extensive consideration of proposals by EC members
prior to an EC meeting. Based on this experience, the EC decided to extend this procedure to
allow a wider consultation with the virology community than was possible previously. This
note describes the new EC procedure for considering taxonomic proposals.
The new procedure
Figure 1 shows this procedure in a diagrammatic form. Taxonomic proposals are now con-
sidered by the EC at two meetings. EC Meeting 1 is preceded by a Pre-proposal Stage,
when the proposal is put on ICTVnet (www.danforthcenter.org/ILTAB/ICTVnet) for ICTV
members to comment. The proposal is discussed at an EC meeting and the EC decides if
the proposal can go forward unmodiﬁed or if it recommends changes. The proposers next
receive a response from the EC and are given time to modify the proposal, if they wish
to do so. The proposal then moves to a Public Scrutiny Stage in which it is posted on the
ICTVnet on a special ICTV Taxonomic Proposal Page that will be open to the public at large.