Revisions in theses?

Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr. jkirkbri at ASRR.ARSUSDA.GOV
Thu Nov 8 08:31:52 CST 2001


When I lived in Brasil from 1979 to 1984, graduate students with
government sponsored scholarships, fellowships, etc., were required to
send between 10 and 20 copies of their theses and dissertations to the
ministry of education.  These were in addition to the copies given to the
members of the committee and deposited at their universities.  The
ministry of education then sent most of their copies to various university
libraries in Brasil.  In my opinion the new names in these dissertations
were published if all other conditions were met under the various codes,
including no disclaimer.  What do you think?  Would that system constitute
publication under the codes?

I have discussed this with several Brasilians, and they said that it was
not publication.  According to the Brasilians, the students, professors,
and others involved did not consider it to be publication.  As the codes
are presently written, intentions do not count, only evidence.  So, I
think that they are validly published because unalterable copies were
distributed to 'public' libraries where thay can be freely consulted by

Joe K

Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr.
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory
Room 304, Building 011A, BARC-West
Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2350 USA
Voice telephone: 301-504-9447
FAX: 301-504-5810
Internet: jkirkbri at

On Thu, 8 Nov 2001, christian thompson wrote:

> 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.
> Cheers
> 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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