restrictions on publication

Frederick J. Peabody fpeabody at SUNFLOWR.USD.EDU
Thu Feb 27 11:27:35 CST 1997


Frederick J. Peabody
Associate Professor of Botany
University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD  57069  USA
fpeabody at

On Wed, 26 Feb 1997, JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE wrote:

> I do not know whether this is true or not, but according to
> what someone told me, during the 19th Century Asa Gray
> at Harvard proposed that no name of any species of
> North American plant should be considered validly
> published unless the author attained his (Gray's) prior
> approval. Another person told me that during the early 19th
> Century, before priority rules became universally
> accepted, there was in existance the "Kew Rule." The Kew
> Rule stated that if "an important botanist" decided
> to change the name of a species or even a genus, the
> new name would be accepted. The people at Kew had
> the power to decide who was "an important botanist."
>    Thus the proposal yesterday that the time has come
> to restrict where one can publish new names has some
> precedent. The common thread linking this proposal
> with the Gray proposal and the Kew Rule is that all
> three are designed for the benefit of established,
> centralized institutions, taking power away from
> lesser-known botanists at less prestigious institutions.
> Publication in obscure journals or desktop publications
> can be rare and annoying to people at major institutions
> like GH or K, but it is fair and democratic. While I support
> efforts to create databases (printed or electronic) alerting
> researchers to the existance and location of new names, I
> would frown upon any attempt to restrict the venues
> in which these names can be published. This is elitist
> and undemocratic.
> --
> Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere, 4717 E First St., Tucson AZ 85711 USA
> 520-326-4868
> JosephL at

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