Registration of Plant Names

Tue Dec 23 12:32:52 CST 1997

Dear Taxacomers,

I was asked by the IAPT secretariate to distribute the following
text to Taxacom. It has also been published in various journals
and it can be accessed on the WWW, URL:

With best wishes for the new year

W. Berendsohn


Announcing a test and trial phase for the registration of new plant
names (1998-1999)

by L. Borgen, W. Greuter, D. L. Hawksworth, D. H. Nicolson & B.
Zimmer, Officers of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy


Subject to ratification by the XVI International Botanical Congress
(St Louis, 1999) of a rule already included in the International code
of botanical nomenclature (Art. 32.1-2 of the Tokyo Code), new names
of plants and fungi will have to be registered in order to be validly
published after the 1st of January 2000. To demonstrate feasibility of
a registration system, the International Association for Plant
Taxonomy (IAPT) undertakes a trial of registration, on a non-mandatory
basis, for a two-year period starting 1 January 1998. The
co-ordinating centre will be the Secretariat of IAPT, currently at the
Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Germany.
Co-ordination with current indexing centres for major groups of plants
is being sought, in view of their possible active involvement at the
implementation stage. The International Mycological Institute in
Egham, U.K., has already agreed to act as associate registration
centre for the whole of fungi, including fossil fungi.

Registration procedure

The co-ordinating registration centre (IAPT Secretariat), and any
associated centre operating under its auspices, will register and make
available all names of new taxa, all new combinations or rank
transfers that are brought to their attention in one of the following
ways: - by being published in an accredited journal or serial; - by
being submitted for registration (normally by the author or one of the
authors), either directly or through a national registration office;
or - as a result of scanning of other published information by the
registration centres' own staff (for the non-mandatory trial phase

Registration by way of publication in accredited journals or serials

For a journal or serial to be accredited, its publishers must commit
themselves, by a signed agreement with the IAPT, to - point out any
nomenclatural novelties in each individual issue of their journal or
serial, either by including a separate index of novelties or in
another suitable, previously agreed manner; way; - submit each
individual issue, as soon as published and by the most rapid way, to a
pre-defined registration office or centre.

Accredited journals and serials will be entitled, and even encouraged,
to mention their accreditation on the cover or title page, or in the

A permanently updated list of accredited journals and serials is
being placed on the World Wide Web
( This
list will be published annually in the journal Taxon.

Registration by way of submission to registration offices

Authors of botanical nomenclatural novelties that do not appear in an
accredited journal or serial (but e.g. in a monograph, pamphlet, or
non-accredited periodical publication) are strongly encouraged to
submit their names for registration - and will be required to do so
once registration becomes mandatory - in the following way: - all
names to be registered are to be listed on an appropriate registration
form, using a separate form for each separate publication; - the form
(in triplicate) must be submitted together with two copies of the
publication itself, either to a national registration office (see
below) or, optionally, directly to the appropriate registration
centre. Reprints of articles from books or non-accredited periodicals
are acceptable, provided their source is stated accurately and in
full; - one dated copy of each form will be returned to the submitting
author in acknowledgement of effected registration.

Registration forms may be obtained free of charge (a) by addressing a
request to any registration office or centre, by letter, fax or
e-mail, or (b), preferably, by printing and copying the form as
available on  the World Wide Web

Registration offices are presently being arranged for in as many
different countries as possible. They  role will serve (a) as
mailboxes and forwarding agencies for registration submissions and (b)
as national repositories for printed matter in which new names
published locally appear.

A permanently updated address list of all functioning national
registration offices is being placed on the World Wide Web
( This
list will also be published annually in the journal Taxon.

Registration date

The date of registration, as here defined, will be the date of
receipt of the registration submission at any national registration
office or appropriate registration centre. For accredited journals or
serials (and, for the duration of the trial phase, for publications
scanned at the registration centres), it will be the date of receipt
of the publication at the location of the registration centre (or
national office, if so agreed).

For the duration of the trial phase, i.e. as long as registration is
non-mandatory, the date of a name will, just as before, be the date of
effective publication of the printed matter in which it is validated,
irrespective of the date of registration. Nevertheless, the
registration date will be recorded, for the following reasons: - to
make clear that the name was published on or before that date, in
cases when the date of effective publication is not specified in the
printed matter; - to assess the time difference between the (effective
or stated) date of the printed matter and that of registration, since
it is envisaged that the date of registration be accepted as the date
of names published on or after 1 January 2000.

It is therefore in the interest of every author to submit
nomenclatural novelties for registration without delay, and by the
most rapid means available.

Access to registration data

Information on registered names will be made publicly available as
soon as feasible, (a) by placing them on the World Wide Web without
delay in a searchable database, (b) by publishing non-cumulative lists
biannually, and (c), hopefully, by issuing cumulative updates on a
CD-ROM-type, fully searchable data medium at similar intervals.

A call to everyone: help testing the system so as to make it work

To make the test effective and significant, it is important that
everyone publishing nomenclatural novelties on or after 1 January 1998
should participate by registering all new names and combinations on a
voluntary basis. Please help (a) by doing so yourself and (b) by
spreading the message to others! Do not be put off if shortcomings or
errors occur in the initial months. Remember, this is a test phase.
Let us know of any bug or crinkle in the system, and we will iron it
out. What matters is that everything operates smoothly by the end of
1999, and that by the next Congress all have satisfied themselves that
it will. We believe that registration of new names, once implemented
in a functional way, will be of great benefit to all concerned - and
so did the Nomenclature Section at Yokohama in 1993. Nomenclature must
be fit for a good start into the next millennium. Let us work together
to make it happen.

Dr. Walter G. Berendsohn, Freie Universitaet Berlin,
Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem,
Koenigin-Luise-Str. 6-8, 14191 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 83006-143, Fax: +49 30 841729-43
Email: wgb at

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