Preprints

jr19 James_L_REVEAL at UMAIL.UMD.EDU
Mon Jan 30 17:58:00 CST 1995


Dear Mr. Chamberland:

While Joe Kirkbride properly defines the term "preprint" and provides a
particularly nasty example, he did not completely address the question at
hand. In the case of the Engelmann names, the paper was read in public in 1856
but this, in and of itself, does not consistute formal publication as defined
by the Code although many authors up to the Vienna Code accepted names as
validly published from their first public declaration (e.g., John Lindley).
This does not mean, however, that there was not a preprint printed of the
Engelmann paper distributed in 1856. This might be sought in one of two
places. First, the minutes of some meetings -- and thus the text of the papers
-- were sometimes printed in the Proceedings of the organization prior to
being published in the organizations Transactions. See the example of the two
sets of 1848 Thomas Nuttall names dealing (in part) with collections gathered
along the Spanish Trail and in California by Gambel.

Another famous example of this is Robert Brown's Asclepiadeae preprint which
was published in early April of 1810, some four years before it was printed in
the journal. What few people realize is that these names themselves were
largely (but by no means entirely) validly published by Brown in his Prodromus
published in late March of 1810. Joe is correct, these things can be messy!

The second option is on occasion when a visitor went to a major institution,
manuscripts were printed prior to depature to the "big city" so as to
demonstrate the importance of ones work to people of significance. Remember,
Linnaeus arrived in Holland in 1735 laden with manuscripts which he hoped to
get published; a century later, the manuscripts were printed in the hopes they
would be accepted in a major journal. This did not happen often, and frankly I
do not see Engelmann doing this, but it might have happened. Stafleu and Cowan
reviewed the holdings at the Missouri Botanical Garden and they might have
seen a pre-print. If such exists, there ought to be copies at Harvard and
possibly New York Botanical Garden.

If a preprint exists, and it can be demonstrated to have been published and
distributed prior to publication of the same names in the journal, priority
dates from the preprint. Stafleu and Cowan were fairly good in stating (in
the later volumes) whether or not a name should be cited as a preprint or
from the journal. Unfortunately, this was not always the case in the first
volume.

Jim Reveal (MARY)
jr19 at umail.umd.edu




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