ZooKeys 21: 1-17, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.21.274
Data publication and dissemination of interactive keys under the open access model
Lyubomir Penev, Michael Sharkey, Terry Erwin, Simon van Noort, Matthew Buffington, Katja Seltmann, Norman Johnson, Matt Taylor, Frederic Thompson, Michael Dallwitz

The 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 files to the benefit of the authors, future workers, and society in general. To be regarded as a ''formal scientific publication,'' an online key should satisfy the same criteria of peer review, registration, persistence, bibliographic description, etc., as conventional publications. Keys can be published in a form of either ''static'\''dynamic'' publications. We define 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. This 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 scientific publication'' (identification, 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 benefit from publishing the first version of their underlying datasets in a form of “formal scientific publication”. We define here the minimum set of data files to be published for several different platforms (Intkey, Lucid2, Lucid3, MX) to ensure both (1) priority, identification, location and citation of the firstly published work and (2) future use and re-use of the keys.