valid publication

Thu Feb 27 06:45:57 CST 1997

I thank Richard Fagerlund for supporting my recent posting,
although I disagree with his last statement. Accepting a
name whether it is considered published or not is dangerous.
If you use an name not officially published in accordance with
the rules, the day will come when someone will publish another
name for that taxon, rendering your usage incorrect. This
is precisely the reason we have the ICBN and the ICZN, to
determine what the correct usage is. As for government
documents, which you refer to as "gray," I have never seen
anyone question their validity in publication.
   Concerning Clifford Wetmore's complaint that it is
impossible to determine date of publication on a thesis,
the answer to that problem is quite simple and totally obvious:
use the date the dissertation was officially accepted by
the author's institution. In most institutions, the
dissertation is generally deposited in the author's
library and mailed to University Microfilms the same day, or
in very short order.
   The chief concern in acceptance of the validity of
names in obscure places seems to be that many such
names are likely to turn out to be synonyms. So what?
It is easy enough to determine whether a name is a synonym.
The ICBN requires a description and a type designation, including
a citation of at what institution the type is located.
Photocopiers and Interlibrary Loan are widely available
for obtaining copies of printed material. Photocopies
and photographs of types can be easily obtained from
most institutions, even those with policies restricting
loans of type material. One change in the ICBN which
might help matters might be to require that types be
located in collections accessible to other
scientists. The ICBN currently recommends this, but
making it a requirement instead of a recommendation
might simplify matters.

Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere, 4717 E First St., Tucson AZ 85711 USA
JosephL at

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