Publication date

Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr. jkirkbri at ASRR.ARSUSDA.GOV
Thu Nov 23 09:33:25 CST 1995

On Thu, 23 Nov 1995, Gomez Luis Diego wrote:

> In my view, a name appearing in a dissertation be it a Master-s or PhD
> does not constitute a sanctioned and validly published description in the
> sense of the Code. By validly published the ICBN means a book, serial or
> any other type of written and available to the general public (public means
> the botanical constituency). A dissertation is not generally available in
> that sense, new names in them fall within the category of nom. prov.
> (provisional names) until formal publication in accordance with ICBN.
> Yes, it is expected that the exam is somehow a peer review so the candidate
> has even better reasons to get his/her new taxa into circulation.
> On Wed, 22 Nov 1995, Richard Jensen wrote:
> > Does anyone know how the publication date for a dissertation is
> > determined?  The case in question involves a dissertation approved in
> > 1989, but bearing on the cover 1990, the year the degree was awarded.  I
> > have encountered both dates in the literature and wonder if there is a
> > "rule" covering this.  I assumed that the date it was approved (i.e.,
> > accepted by the graduate committee) was the date of publication.
> >
> > Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at
> > Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
> > Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
> > Notre Dame, IN  46556  |
> >
There is a very interesting and poorly known case in the systematics of
plants from the western United States.  Almost thirty years ago (when
xerox machines had just become available) a large dissertation
treating more than 300 taxa with many "new" things was prepared.  The
student distributed copies of his dissertation to all the principal botanical
libraries in the United States, far in excess of the manditory copies for
his university, and very little from it was published.  Does this constitute
valid publication?  Fifty years from now there will be a major contraversy
over whether the student's "new" names are vaild or not.

Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr.
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory
Room 304, Building 011A, BARC-West
Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2350 USA
Voice telephone: 301-504-9447
FAX: 301-504-5810
Internet: jkirkbri at

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