Thesis publications

Andrew Whittington aew at NMS.AC.UK
Fri Mar 7 09:16:07 CST 1997

Dear Margaret and colleagues

Maybe I'm naive, but I thought that under the present set of codes the
unpublished names in a thesis are not valid and therefore cannot be
synonymies.  Until they are properly published (the onus being on the
student if he/she wants the names to be taken seriously), then no one
needs worry about them.

Furthermore I don't follow the arguement: ".....a thesis from UMI
because it contained a complete review of a genus, not just a few new
names as would be found in a journal article."  Surely complete reviews
of genera are published in journals, NOT just a few new names?  If a
student, having completed a generic review for a thesis publishes only
the new names, then they are unnecessarily cutting taxonomic corners.
Who encourages them to do this?  Supervisors or editors?  Isn't the real
issue one of changing standards?

I know my view differs from some folk here - there seem to be two camps
about the thesis question.  I strongly feel that including thesis names as
valid available names without proper publication is cutting corners and
will result in problems.  It might be all very well considering theses in
America or Europe that are more easily available, but there are an aweful
lot of Universities in the rest of the world whose libraries probably
cannot sent out copies of a thesis because of cost.  Thus one has to
question, are those theses together with all their new names really
widely available other than to students of that particular University?
It strikes me that keeping new names in the currently used journal
publication system is no great difficulty and will result in fewer synonyms
than opening it out to all theses.

Andy Whittington
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
DDI: 0131 247 4261
FAX:  0131 220 4819
aew at

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