Names in titles

Barry M. OConnor bmoc at UMICH.EDU
Fri Feb 28 09:29:19 CST 1997

At 6:56 AM 2/28/97, richard a fagerlund wrote:

>I was told by one reviewer that the name of a new taxa should never
>appear in the title of the paper or even the abstract or introduction.

I have to agree that this is very silly.  Names in titles or abstracts
provide an excellent means of retrieving information via database searches,
and I always include the new names I publish at least in the abstract.
This is particularly critical for those of us who maintain taxonomic
databases.  In many cases, I've been frustrated when a paper titled "A new
species of..." and published in a journal with very limited circulation,
does not have the specific name in the published abstract.
         Besides, it is the act of publishing the paper in which all the
legal criteria for publication of a new name are met that validates the
name.  Where the name first appears in the paper is irrelevant.  The ICZN
referes to page precedence only in the context of a first reviser having to
choose between two names published in the same paper (recommendations 24A &
69B), and then lists page precedence as the last criteria to be used in
choosing the valid name.  So where a new name first appears in a paper in
which it is first validly published does seem irrelevant.

Barry M. OConnor                phone: (313) 763-4354
Museum of Zoology               FAX: (313) 763-4080
University of Michigan          e-mail: bmoc at
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079  USA

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