validity of taxonomic publication

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Wed Feb 19 13:04:06 CST 1997


At 12:33 PM 02-19-97 -0600, Paul J. Johnson wrote:

>Life in this little is a bit more complicated.  In the United States is
>a document service, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan, that
>has conned our universities and colleges into having all doctoral and
>many M.S. theses "published."  The student is required to pay all
>charges and in exchange has the dubious privilage of having their
>document copyrighted for them, though it is actually in the name of UM.
>In fact, UM sells copies of each thesis, and in a practical sense royalities
>do not go to most authors because of the low
>volume of sales of most theses.  Indeed, according to the Zoological Code
>nomenclatural acts done within a thesis are not valid and the UM
>"publication" system does not qualify.  However, this restriction only
>applies to only to nomenclatural acts, such as new names, synonymies, etc.  All
>other data is available and the question of published or not must be
>reconsidered.  For example, distributional records, ecological
>measures, and other non-nomenclatural information can be considered
>published.
>      In my familiarity, there has not been adequate discussion and
>community-wide decision in the zoological sciences as to whether
>non-nomenclatural information in a thesis is acceptably published, or
>under what constraints.  However, UM considers their process as
>publication, and many professional categories do consider UM
>publication as valid.  I'm not positive on my recollection, but did not
>the latest botanical code completely discount thesis information as
>published, or was this only nomenclatural data?

Botanists have taken this into account.  Art. 29.1 of the International Code
of Botanical Nomenclature states: "Publication ... is not effected ... by
the issue of microfilm made from manuscripts, type-scripts or other
unpublished material."

**************************************************************************
Thomas G. Lammers
Department of Botany                     Classification, Nomenclature,
Field Museum of Natural History          Phylogeny and Biogeography
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive       of the Campanulaceae
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:     lammers at fmppr.fmnh.org
voice mail: 312-922-9410 ext. 317
fax:        312-427-2530

"... what could possibly be easier or more beautiful than 'Campanula'?  What
affectation more gratuitous and silly than 'bell-flower'?"  -- R. Farrer




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