Re, Criteria of Publication

Thu Nov 23 07:00:43 CST 1995

Dear taxonomists,

I would like to interject some reality into the discussion regarding
dates of a dissertation and whether or not it constitutes a valid

Article 9(11) of the current ICZN is quite clear: "....none of the
following procedures or acts constitutes publication within the meaning
of the Code: (11) deposit of a document (e.g., a thesis) in a
collection of documents, a library, or other archive."

Dissertation Abstracts International will provide (at cost) a bound or
unbound xerox copy of such a dissertation (thesis).  However, this does
not constitute publication, merely a facsimile of the original sent to
them for microfilming by the University of origin.  The contents of a
dissertation do not become "published" in the context of the ICZN,
until the criteria spelled out in Article 8 are met.

I will cite a specific example of where a new genus and species written
up in a dissertation have been erroneously cited as valid.

In 1983 my wife, Dr. Nancy Maciolek Blake completed a disseration on
deep-sea spionid polychaetes.  Included in that work were several new
taxa.  She immediately worked up and published most of this work in a
series of papers in international journals.  However, with changing
careers and other distractions, one paper that would constitute another
3-4 of the taxa from the disseration was not completed and although now
in manuscript form, still has not been submitted.

In 1990 while perusing the latest Zoological Record, I was somewhat
shocked to find citation to _Aonidella dayi_ Maciolek, 1983 as part of
a paper published by Lopez-Jamar, E (1989): Bol. Inst. Esp. Oceanogr.
where he found the species on the Iberian Peninsula and proceeded to
"redescribe" it.  At the same time, we received a manuscript Dr. Minoru
Imajima on the spionids of Japan where he had also found the species.
We informed Dr. Imajima about the Lopez-Jamar record and he
subsequently published, at our recommendation, the name as: Aonidella
dayi Maciolek in Lopez-Jamar, 1989.

So, names cited from unpublished sources may lead to confusion and
required clean-up.  Do not cite names from such unpublished sources
unless you want to become part of the authorship.


James A. Blake
89 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA

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