Code and nomenclature

Wolfgang Wuster w.wuster at BANGOR.AC.UK
Thu Jan 11 09:46:17 CST 1996

On Wed, 10 Jan 1996, Lammers wrote:


> On a related note, it occurred to me that what is needed is a guide to
> using the Code, organized according to various tasks taxonomists do.
> For example, one section might deal with how to select the correct name
> from a list of names that pertain to a given taxon.  In a step-by-step
> fashion, the user would be directed to check a number of things (publi-
> cation dates, etc.), with full cross-referencing to appropriate chapter-
> and-verse in the Code.  Another might be directed to determining
> whether or not a given name is validly published or not, and if so, is
> it legitimate.  This could even take the form of a dichotomous key:
> 1. Name effectively published  ... 2
> 1. Name not effectively published.           etc.
> Yet another portion of the guide might deal with determining the status of type specimens.
> Something along this line formed ch. 13 of Lyman Benson's *Plant Taxonomy:
> Methods and Principles" (1962).  It seems to me that a guide of this nature,
> written more in a discussion or "cookbook" form instead of the Code's
> legal-ese, would be a major boon to everyone.

This is an excellent idea! There are already some similar books around,
but nothing as specific as you mention

It might be possible to persuade the powers that be to integrate such a
manual as an initial chapter into the front of the existing codes when
next revised.  This might make these worthy volumes less intimidating to
pick up...

I am cross-posting this to ICZN-4, as it might be of interest there.

Wolfgang Wuster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
e-mail: w.wuster at

Thought for the day: If you see a light at the end of the tunnel,
it is probably a train coming your way.

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