Thesis publications and names in titles

John McNeill johnm at ROM.ON.CA
Tue Mar 4 12:40:56 CST 1997

It seems that the flurry of discussion on these two topics may finally
have waned.  As several contributors have noted, both the botanical and
zollogical rules have no negative implications for including names in
titles and this does seem a non-issue.  On the matter of effectiveness
of publication and the desirability of publication in theses, I referred
earlier to an analysis, in the form of a dichotomous key, by Dan
Nicolson in the journal Taxon, but at the time I did not have the
reference to hand.

I have since looked it up (Taxon 29: 485-488. 1980), and in so doing found two
other papers on the topic in the same issue, one that I wrote in collaboration
with the late Luella Weresub and the other by Dick Brummitt (Taxon 29: 471-476;
and 477-481. 1980).  Reading them, in the light of the recent TAXACOM
discussion, was, in the memorable words of Yogi Berra, "like deja vu all over

I am more than ever convinced that these issues are not resolvable by
modification of the Codes, but rather by a registration process analogous to
that adopted under the International Code of Bacteriological Nomenclature.  In
the interim, the provision, currently in the Zoological Code, that an
author/publisher of any publication (e.g. a thesis) can declare it not to be
considered published for nomenclatural purposes under the Code(s) is useful.

John McNeill

From: John McNeill, Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum,
      100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2C6, Canada.
      Telephone and fax number:  416-586-5744
      e-mail: johnm at

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