validity of taxonomic publication

Matt Buys matt at LAND.SUN.AC.ZA
Thu Feb 20 09:26:25 CST 1997

John McNeill <johnm at ROM.ON.CA> wrote:

> The key Article is Art. 29.1:
> "Publication is effected, under this _Code_, only by distribution of
> printed matter (through sale, exchange or gift) to the general public
> or at least to botanical institutions with libraries accessible to
> botanists generally.   It is not effected by communication of new
> names at a public meeting, by the placing of names in collections or
> gardens open to the public, or by the issue of microfilm made from
> manuscripts, type-scripts or other unpublished material".

> What this means is that, whereas electronic media are ruled out,
> anything that is "printed" (and that has to include laser-printed, and
> indistinguishable offset therefrom) and distributed to at least two
> botanical libraries (note the plural "libraries" in the Article) is
> effectively published.  Therefore, nowadays, virtually every graduate
> thesis is effectively published under the terms of this Article - so
> long as the thesis is [laser -]printed and deposited in more than one
> library "accessible to botanists generally".

My few cents worth:

A key word above for me is BOTANICAL libraries or in the words of the ICBN, "...
BOTANICAL institutions with libraries..."

Is an university a botanical institution?   I think not, in the sense anyway that
universities (in South Africa at least) require that all students deposit a copy of
their thesis on the university's library shelves.  Botanical institutions do not
require all students to deposit a thesis on the institution's shelves.
Botanical institutions do however, for the most, subscribe to the majority
of botanical journals, whose contents are in turn,  searchable through
Biological Abstracts, Current Contents etc.

The provision that copies must exists in at least two botanical libraries, I think,
is to prevent nomenclatural publications in obscure Journals.  The chances of
any  thesis sitting on two university shelves, with no record of its contents in
a searchable database,  becoming known to all are quite remote.

Matt Buys
Dept. of Botany
Univ. of Stellenbosch
Private Bag X1
Matieland 7602
South Africa

tel: 021 8083604
fax: 021 8083607

More information about the Taxacom mailing list