ZooBank Policy 001: Drafting & Ratification of ZooBank Policies - approved

PDF version from the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 67(4).

Drafting and Ratification of ZooBank Policies

Policy Number: 001

Author(s): Richard L. Pyle

Status: DRAFT-V5

Date Review Completed: 29 October 2009

Date Recommended: 02 November 2009

Date Ratified: 27 July 2010

Effective Date: 28 July 2010


This document defines the process for establishing ZooBank Policies.


The ZooBank Committee (ZBC), as officially designated by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), shall draft a series of Policies that define the purpose, scope and function of the ZooBank online registry. Such Policieswill be open for public review and presented to the ICZN for ratification. Upon ratification, the Policy will take effect as of the specified ‘Effective Date’ (which maybe retroactive), and will thus become official ZooBank Policy, under the authority of the ICZN.



1. Proposal of Policies

Any current member or group of members of the ZBC may propose a new ZooBankPolicy. Suggestions for a new Policy by an individual who is not a member of theZBC must be presented in collaboration with at least one ZBC member. New Policy proposals should be presented to the official ZBC email discussion list for informal comment and review.

2. Draft Policy Preparation

Pending initial comment and review by the ZBC, the original proposing ZBC members and/or other ZBC members may, at their own discretion, create a formal draft Policy for submission and review by the ZBC and general public. The draft Policy should be created as an electronic document, following the standard ZooBank Policy template, and should include the following information:

(i) Title. A short, descriptive title that succinctly but accurately characterizes the intended scope of the Policy.

(ii) Purpose. A brief statement about the intended purpose of the Policy, specifying how it contributes to the purpose, scope, and/or function of ZooBank.

(iii) Policy. A statement that describes the Policy in full, written as an overview that encompasses all main components of the Policy.

(iv) Procedures. A detailed description, in outline form, of how the Policy is to be implemented.

3. Draft Policy Initial Review

The draft Policy shall be submitted to the ZBC for an initial review period, not to exceed 30 days. The ZBC members shall comment on specific aspects of the wording of the Policy, and discuss implementation details, possible unintended consequences, and any other implications the Policy may have for the successful functioning ofZooBank. If >50% of ZBC members responding to the Initial Review and expressingan opinion about public review are in favor of such review, the draft Policy shall be posted for public review on the ZooBank website.

4. Draft Policy Public Review

When a Policy has been posted for public review on the ZooBank website, announcements of the posting shall be made by the ZBC Chair or designated ZBC representative to appropriate email discussion groups, including (at minimum) the public ZooBank email list. The public review period shall be 30 days, unless the deadline for public review is extended by the ZBC Chair to allow time for additional commentary.

5. Draft Policy Recommendation

At the end of the public review period the Chair of the ZBC shall call for a vote bythe ZBC members as to whether the draft Policy, as written and revised based on public commentary, should be recommended for approval by the ICZN. The deadline for vote submission shall be set for 30 days after the call for votes, and the vote shall be deemed valid either when at least two-thirds of ZBC members have voted in favor, when more than one-third of ZBC members have voted to oppose, or when all ZBC members have either cast a vote, explicitly abstained, or indicated an inability or unwillingness to vote. Only votes explicitly in favor or opposed shall be considered when calculating the percentage results.

(i) Approved. If at least two-thirds of the votes received within the voting period are in favor, the draft Policy shall be forwarded to the ICZN for voting under the one-month rule as described in the Bylaws. Once ratified, the Policy shall be assigned an ‘Effective Date’ (i.e. the date on which the Policy officially goes into effect, which may be retroactive), and assigned a Policy Number. The Policy Number will be one more than that of the previously ratified Policy.

(ii) Declined. If less than two-thirds of the votes received within the voting period are in favor, the draft Policy shall not be forwarded to the ICZN for ratification. If more than half (but fewer than two-thirds) of votes received within the voting period are in favour, review and discussion may continue (at the discretion of existing ZBC members) to further refine the draft Policy until such time as the Chair of the ZBC calls for another vote, which shall be conducted following the same procedures as the first vote. If the second vote is inconclusive the proposed Policy fails.


Existing ZooBank Policies that have been ratified by the ICZN may be amended following the same procedures described above for Draft Policies, with the following additional aspects:

1. Proposal of Policy Amendment

Upon proposing the amended Policy to the ZBC, the proposing ZBC member(s) shall state the number of the existing Policy that is proposed to be amended.

2. Draft Policy Amendment Preparation

The Draft Policy Amendment may include alterations to the Title, Effective Date, Purpose, Policy, or Procedures of the existing ZooBank Policy.

3. Draft Policy Amendment Initial Review

In their deliberations of the Draft Policy Amendment, the ZBC members shall consider the implications of modifying an existing Policy on existing ZooBank registrations, and what effect (if any) such modifications might have on nomenclatural stability. If needed, the ZBC may also stipulate the disposition and status of the amended Policy during the period when the amendment is under consideration.

4. Draft Policy Amendment Public Review

When announcing the proposed amended Policy for public review, the original Policy shall be clearly indicated, and a statement of the implications the modifications mighthave on existing ZooBank registrations, and associated nomenclatural stability shall also be provided.

5. Draft Policy Amendment Recommendation

If the ZBC votes in favor of recommending the Draft Policy Amendment to the ICZN, the recommendation shall also include a statement of the implications the modifications might have on existing ZooBank registrations, and associated nomenclatural stability. Upon ratification of the Policy Amendment, the Amended Policy will receive an appropriate Policy Number revision (i.e. the original Policy Number with an incrementing decimal suffix representing revision number of the Policy) and revised Ratification Date. The Amended Policy shall take effect on its designated Effective Date, when the previous Policy will be deemed no longer to be in effect.

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