ICZN and new publications formats

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Thu Nov 8 17:14:33 CST 2001

Thank you Ron, for highlighting a few more details.

>It is too bad the ZN code is totally vague
>on "numerous". To me this means 50 or more.

Yes, the ICZN has never attempted to define "numerous" as far as I know. In
my time we discussed it, but always decided to leave it alone, other than to
say numerous is more than one! The problem is that there are a few critical
older publications for which we today have no idea how many copies were ever
printed beyond the one that survived. So, we assume given that these were
set with type, printed on paper, etc., then undoubtedly there must have been
an edition of "numerous" copies!

>This is kind of a peeve of mine.  In discussions on the code it seems
>at times parties drag up something that occurred back in 1757, or 1929,
>1898, or 1963, or 1985 or 1999 to establish their current point.  The
>problem is that each version of the code provides "exceptions" to its
>latest edition's requirements to insure usage stability.  If we were to
>just go with the Jan 1, 2000 Vol 4 ZN code the majority of all previous
>works would be disallowed.

As for the various exceptions, this is for two reasons. 1) To ensure that
the current code covers the full duration (from 1758) and, hence, one
doesn't need to consult earlier codes, which are now declared obsolete; and
2) to ensure what was acceptable activities are not retroactively
invalidated, etc. It is not perfect, but it is the way to maintain that
Systema Naturae and other works of Linnaeus remain, for example, available
publications under the current code.

>I see this as accurate in what he meant but it may not necessarily clear
>all who read it.  The only "version" that counts toward ZN publication
>paper or CDR copies.  PDF files are totally outside the code.  Providing
>copies of PDF via paper _does not_ fulfill the code.  This wording would
>imply that the "valid publication" occurred via a PDF file.  The correct
>progression is -  providing copies via PDF of paper originals.
>CDR (read only CD) medium is the only non paper media I see as
>allowed within the new ZN code.    See code introduction section 9 page

As for pdf. Yes, pdf in of itself has nothing to do with publication.  The
critical question is how the information encoded in the pdf file is
disseminated. So, if I print off 25 copies of a pdf file onto paper and sell
them or distribute them free, then those paper copies are "an edition"
consisting of "simultaneously" created and "identical" copies, etc. That
would be an available publication.  Likewise, if the pdf file is on a CD-ROM
(and yes, only CR-ROM that are produced by  a manufacturing process, not
one-off, etc.), given that Art. 8.6 is followed, the CD-ROM is an available
publication and the information in the pdf documents on it are likewise
(unless disclaimed, etc.). How the user accesses that information may vary,
from reading off the screen of a computer or printing it out on paper.

>9(b) eliminates printouts from PDF files.

This statement is not part of the code.  David was having a senior moment.
Yes, the old 1985 included a statement (Art. 9(6)) which read "computer
printouts as such" This was deleted in the new Edition precisely because it
was confusing. With the shift in publishing technology, many publications
are "computer printouts," so the focus shift to how those are disseminated.
And again the critical points are 1) numerous, 2) simultaneously generated,
3) identical and 4) durable copies.  That can be done and is done from a
computers, from pdf files, etc., and those could be available publications
given that the other criteria are met.

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 sel.barc.usda.gov [NB: no terminal "n"]
visit our Diptera site at www.diptera.org

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