Revisions in theses?

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Thu Nov 8 07:20:37 CST 2001

As usual, the question of the availability of names first published in
"theses" is not as simple as people like Ron make it.

Vratislav comes close to the actual situation under the ICZN. One needs
first to determine whether a thesis or whether an abstract of a thesis were
published under the appropriate articles of the Code (articles 7-9).

The key questions are
1) When the thesis was produced, was it produced in an "edition" of
          a) "simultaneously obtainable copies"
           b) by a method that assures NUMEROUS
           c) IDENTICAL, and
           d) DURABLE copies
2) The work was not "disclaimed"

There are other questions if it was not "printing on paper."

So, if the only available copies were being ONLY distributed on the
Internet, then the thesis is not published in the sense of the ICZN.
However, IF UMI Dissertation Abstract services provides a number of
subscribers copies of their pdf version on paper at the same time, then
those Dissertations are available unless disclaimed.  For a number of years,
Dissertation Abstract indeed did have a set of subscribers who purchased
copies of all theses "published" by UMI. Hence, many PhD theses are in fact
publications under the Code.

What the current situation at UMI Dissertation DIGITAL Abstract services
is, I do not know.  We, here, hence, recommend that all our PhD theses
contain a disclaimer to ensure that they will not be scientific publication
under the ICZN.

So, as to the original question, one must do a little homework first.
Examine the thesis in question. Did the author disclaim it? If not, was it
published? Check not only the distribution policies of UMI Dissertation
Digital Abstracts, but the   University that awarded the degree. For
example, some European Universities (especially in Sweden) still published a
number of their theses as part of the degree granting process.


F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560-0169
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at [NB: no terminal "n"]
visit our Diptera site at

>>> "Vr. Richard Bejsak-Colloredo-Mansfeld" <ricardo at ANS.COM.AU> 11/08 6:06
AM >>>
I like to know how is treated new species described in the dissertation
thesis. (The included disertation has 57 new species and 8 new genera!!!).
How many disertation copies are publish?
How they are available?
How to obtaion copy of original description.

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