The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) proposes amendments to its Constitution – the legal basis determining how the Commission is to be governed – to solicit feedback from the zoological community, who will have one year, starting 30 April 2020, to submit constructive comments before the Commissioners cast their votes. To prompt useful debate on the revision of the foundational rules and principles at the ICZN, these comments will be openly published in the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature and the ICZN website.
In compliance with the ICZN Constitution, the proposed amendments are now available in the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature (BZN) and three other suitable journals, including the peer-reviewed open-access journal ZooKeys. Given there is a sufficient consensus on the proposed amendments, the final version of the Constitution will be presented to the International Union of Biological Sciences for provisional ratification. Afterwards, the decision and date of effective ratification will also be published in BZN.
Established in 1895, the ICZN is an organisation, whose task is to act as the adviser and arbiter for the zoological community by generating and disseminating information on the correct formation and use of the scientific names of animals. The ICZN is responsible for producing the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, which is a set of rules for the naming of animals and the resolution of nomenclatural problems.
Key proposed amendments address the terms of service and eligibility of members of the Commission; the inclusion of the ICZN website as a primary venue for information dissemination; reducing the standard voting period from three months to two, in recognition of the faster transmission speed of electronic mail compared to postal mail; and adding the maintenance of ZooBank – the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature – to the list of responsibilities of the Commission.
“Along with recent amendments to its Bylaws, the proposed amendments to the ICZN Constitution will help the Commission to fulfil its aim of promoting stability and universality in the nomenclature of animals,”
comment from the ICZN.
ICZN (2020) Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. ZooKeys 931: 1–9. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.931.51583