From the Nautilus Magazine article, Why do taxonomists write the meanest obituaries?

"This tension between freedom and stability was long ago formalized in two sets of official and binding rules: the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), which deals with animals, and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). Periodically updated by committees of working taxonomists, these documents set out precise, legalistic frameworks for how to apply names both to species and to higher taxa. (The animal and plant codes operate independently, which means that an animal can share a scientific name with a plant, but not with another animal, and vice versa.)

Central to both, and to taxonomic stability itself, is the Principle of Priority, which states that the first valid scientific name applied to a group of animals is the valid name. If Linnaeus named a species in 1758, and that species is still recognized today, then Linnaeus’ name stands. Priority forms the backbone of biological nomenclature; without it, classification would degenerate, Babel-style, into a panoply of competing and incompatible systems. One consequence of all this is that taxonomists are constantly combing through the older literature to uncover the proper name for any given species. Another is that current classificatory changes come with a high potential for downstream influence.

And there’s the rub. In order to balance freedom with stability, the Codes generally remain silent on the question of quality: Any taxonomic proposal, no matter how outlandish, ill-informed, or incompetent, counts so long as it was published according to the barest of requirements set out in the Codes themselves. For the ICN, this means descriptions must be published in printed materials that are distributed to libraries and accessible to botanists. For the ICZN, which recently relaxed its requirements, descriptions can come in either publically accessible printed materials or Internet-based digital publications. In neither case do the Codes require peer review; if you can print it and you can distribute it, then you can describe pretty much whatever you want."