Article 8.1.1 of ICZN

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Wed Jul 31 07:52:55 CDT 2002


While the ICZN does provide a clear-cut definition of what a publication
is, how people have applied that is very inconsistent.

In your posting you used the phrase "Hobby-Journal," so I quoted you Art.

To me, if a journal declares itself to be a "hobby-journal" by saying its
function is to service those people who are interested in that "hobby," be
it collecting butterflies or tropical fish, then it isn't a scientific
journal. Likewise for newspapers, comic books, religious journals, sales
catalogs, etc.

Being indexed by Zoological Record is irrelevant. Zoological Record decides
what it wants to index and does index works which aren't necessarily
scientific, but do related to animals.

ISSN is also irrelevent. These are assigned to any one who asks for one and
most serial works which are sold get one, etc.

Again whether something is stored in an International or Local library is
irrelevant as libraries decide what they want to stored based on their own
criteria. In fact, local libraries may well stored "hobby-journals," and not
"scientific journals" as more people are interested in hobbies.

The purpose of Art. 8.1.1 was to address situations like your last
question: That is, if a publication is a "hobby-journal," then a description
(poor or good) of a new species in it does not make it a scientific journal.
 That is, zoologists need only to survey scientific journals for new
taxonomic information. They need not read every newspaper, comic book, sales
catalog, hobby journal to see if some one described a new species.

But as I first noted, people and the Commission itself have been very
liberal in deciding what a scientific journal is. Descriptions in newspapers
have frequently been considered available, but most of these decisions are
based on "usage." That is, a number of subsequently workers cite a newspaper
article as the first appearance of a scientific name which is in current

Recently in my own group, flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae), we had an
example of a journal which was declared in its early issues that it was just
for amateurs, as what they were interested in was not being published in
scientific journals and that the editor would publish whatever was submitted
without review, etc. So, sure enough after a few issues a couple of authors
decided to publish new species there as they couldn't get the work published
elsewhere (it was of poor quality and won't pass peer-review). The name were
not indexed by Zoological Records. But like bird-watcher, hover fly hobbists
want new species to tick-off, etc., and it wasn't long before some of these
names started appearing in papers published in truly scientific journals,
etc. Because of that "usage," retrospectively these names are "deemed" by
most to have been published, etc.,

Oh, well ... it is only Wednesday

>>> Ingo SCHINDLER <Intyo at AOL.COM> 07/30 6:12 PM >>>
Dear members,
since my last request about the taxonomic validity (see 'for the code
warrior') of a curious created new taxon in a hobby-journal (thanks to Dr.
Christian Thompson and Dr. Ron Gatrelle for helpful response) I am
about which criterions must fulfil by a journal to be under article 8.1.1
ICZN. In other words is a "hobby-journal" simply not a scientific
publications for the permanent scientific record and all taxa that
in it are nomina nuda?
It would be very helpful to get an answer of the following:
is a taxon available if the hobby-journal:
1)  is  covered by Zoological Records
2)  is recognized by an ISSN-number
3)  is not stored in international nor even in local libraries.
4)  usually published only reports and news of a hobby-society (not stored
libraries) and unexpected its include sometimes poor description of new

I hope that I explain what I am thinking about. Any response is welcome.

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

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