Changes to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature are decided on every 6 years at Nomenclature Sections associated with International Botanical Congresses (IBC). The XVIII IBC was held in Melbourne, Australia; the Nomenclature Section met on 18-22 July 2011 and its decisions were accepted by the Congress at its plenary session on 30 July. Several important changes were made to the Code as a result of this meeting that will affect publication of new names. Two of these changes will come into effect on 1 January 2012, some months before the Melbourne Code is published. Electronic material published online in Portable Document Format (PDF) with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) will constitute effective publication, and the requirement for a Latin description or diagnosis for names of new taxa will be changed to a requirement for a description or diagnosis in either Latin or English. In addition, effective from 1 January 2013, new names of organisms treated as fungi must, in order to be validly published, include in the protologue (everything associated with a name at its valid publication) the citation of an identifier issued by a recognized repository (such as MycoBank). Draft text of the new articles dealing with electronic publication is provided and best practice is outlined.
To encourage dissemination of the changes made to the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, this article will be published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Brittonia, Cladistics, MycoKeys, Mycotaxon, New Phytologist, North American Fungi, Novon, Opuscula Philolichenum, PhytoKeys, Phytoneuron, Phytotaxa, Plant Diversity and Resources, Systematic Botany and Taxon.