Names introduced in Dissertation Abstracts

Neal Evenhuis neale at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Thu Nov 8 09:17:57 CST 2001

At 10:02 AM -0800 11/8/01, Barry Roth wrote:
>Dissertation Abstracts International would seem to
>fulfill the requirements of Publication under Article
>8 of the ICZN -- it consists of numerous identical,
>simultaneously obtainable copies, on paper, available
>by purchase, made for the purpose of providing a
>public and durable record, etc.

Hi Barry,

You are referring to the Abstracts version that many libraries have
in their Reference Section. Yes, it does constitute a valid
publication if there is not a disclaimer in Dissertations Abstracts
to contravene that. A replacement name for a Hawaiian bird was
validated in just such an "Abstract" in 1979.

But do not confuse this form of publication with the original message
in this thread, which concerned a request for a copy from UMI of the
full dissertation. Does that copy of the full dissertation represent
a valid publication?

You need to read further in the ICZN Code to see that this form of
publication is not regarded as a valid published work. Article 9.7
lists one of the forms of printing that does not meet the criteria of
"publication" according to the ICZN Code as: "copies obtained on
demand of an unpublished work [Art. 8], even if previously deposited
in a library or other archive". Getting multiple simultaneously
printed copies of a dissertation through UMI is publication on
demand. But, as Chris indicated earlier, to be accurate, one must
check with UMI to see what their publication and distribution
practice is. Do they only receive a copy of the dissertation and do
nothing with it until a request comes in; or do they soon after
receipt of a dissertation deliver multiple simultaneously printed
copies of each dissertation to libraries for deposition.

To further restrict matters, for works after 1985, Articles 8.5 and
8.6 also apply, since UMI does not employ a method considered
"conventional printing" to distribute their dissertations. Taking
these articles into account; explicit statements must be made in such
works that any new name or nomenclatural act was "intended for public
and permanent scientific record" (8.5.1); and that the work was
produced in an edition containing simultaneous copies (8.5.2); the
latter statement is made more explicit in Article 8.6 (for works
after 2000) that specifies that the work was deposited in at least 5
major publicly accessible libraries, which are named in the work.

In addition, works available only over the web (such as pdf files
that may contain new names or nomenclatural acts) are not considered
valid publications by ICZN by virtue of 9.8. As Chris stated, this
again is why one needs to check UMI's distribution and publication
policy to verify that these forms of dissemination do or do not meet
the criteria for publication according to the ICZN Code.

>Is a new animal genus name published in a dissertation
>in Dissertation Abstracts International therefore
>available if the abstract contains (1) a statement
>that the name is new, (2) designation of a
>type-species, and (3) mention of characters that
>purport to differentiate the taxon?

Only if there is no disclaimer somewhere in that Dissertations
Abstract volume (that contains the "abstract" with the new
nomenclatural act) that contravenes any new nomenclatural act from
being intended for the public and permanent scientific record.

--Neal Evenhuis

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