Date of this Version
Th e 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 fi les to the benefi t of future workers, the authors, and society in general. To be regarded as a “formal scientifi c publication,” an online key should satisfy the same criteria of peer review, registration, persistence, bibliographic description, etc., as with conventional publications. Keys can be published as either “static” or “dynamic” publications. We defi ne 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. Th is 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 scientifi c publication” (identifi cation, 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 benefi t from publishing the fi rst version of their underlying datasets in a form of “formal scientifi c publication”. We defi ne here the minimum set of data files to be published for several diff erent platforms (Intkey, Lucid2, Lucid3, MX) to ensure both (1) priority, identifi cation, location and citation of the fi rst published work and (2) future use and re-use of the keys.