Thesis publications

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Sat Mar 8 08:12:49 CST 1997

At 07:57 AM 03-07-97 -0800, Curtis Clark wrote:
>It seems to me that the best resolution to this "problem" is one that
>preserves the intent of the author. If an author wants the names in a
>thesis to be considered published, there should be guidelines for
>distribution of the thesis to ensure that it can be found through ordinary
>bibliographic channels. If an author desires that names in a thesis *not*
>be considered published, so that they may instead be published in refereed
>journals, a simple statement to that effect in the thesis should suffice,
>regardless of how the thesis is distributed, and without making the names
>nomina nuda. Anythin short of this seems to be placing a burden on
>*somebody*, and it seems we should want to facilitate taxonomy, not >hinder it.

Botanists, at least, have a very simple means of assuring that names in
theses are not validly published.  First, for new taxa, simply omit a Latin
diagnosis.  (This should come as a real relief to most grad students.  Latin
has become a lost art in the modern plant systematics community.  Most would
probably translate the phrase "Sic transit gloria mundi" as "Gloria puked on
the bus Monday" <g>).  Second, for new combinations and new names, omit full
citation of the basionym.  If you do these these, there is no way the names
can be taken up under the present Code.  Then, when it's time to publish
"for real", they can be added to the text.

Thomas G. Lammers
Department of Botany                     Classification, Nomenclature,
Field Museum of Natural History          Phylogeny and Biogeography
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive       of the Campanulaceae
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

e-mail:     lammers at
voice mail: 312-922-9410 ext. 317
fax:        312-427-2530

"What a big book ...  might be made with all that is known ...  And what a
much bigger book still with all that is not ..."

                                                                --- Jules Verne

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