[Taxacom] Plagiarism & Public Domain

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Wed Dec 1 02:50:09 CST 2010

Van: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu namens Richard Pyle
Verzonden: di 30-11-2010 22:31

> Just a technical quibble...
>> And the botanists do it
>> even better as they also cite the author and date of the circumscription.

> Actually, no -- what the botanists do is cite the author (not date) of the
> first use of a new combination.  This is strictly nomenclatural. 

I do not see that it is possible to casually refer to "the way that botanists 
do it". In botany a great number of styles exist, depending on who, when 
and where you are. The ICBN has rules; these have changed over time
(what was prescribed or recommended in the past is not necessarily so now 
and vice versa). In the Code as it now stands, the author citation is
neither part of the name, nor something that needs to be mentioned at all. 
However, if it is mentioned ("In publications, particularly those dealing 
with taxonomy and nomenclature, it may be desirable [...]") there are rules,
which focus on who may be mentioned in an author citation (a great many
people may be mentioned who are not "authors" as the word is commonly
understood) and how. 

The names of authors may be abbreviated, and if these are abbreviated it 
is recommended to use a standard list, which may be consulted at IPNI.

There is not a lot in the ICBN on including years in an author citation. 
A format commonly used in the ICBN is to use "Lichen debilis Sm. (1812)".
BTW, this style is also used in the recently referred to APG III paper. 
The reason for using this is obvious: in nomenclature it is all about 
priority, so it helps to include the year.

In full citations it is helpful to also include the year that is on the 
publication (if different) for bibliographic purposes.

* * *

> The only
> relationship to taxonomy is that it represents a small piece of information
> related to the circumscription of the genus; but says nothing about the
> circumscription of the species.  Species concept circumscriptions change in
> ways that are almost entirely independent of the shuffling of species names
> within their parent genera.  Much more frequently, the same name combination
> is used to refer to different circumscriptions; and in many (most?) cases
> when an author moves a species epithet to a different genus, the
> circumscription of the species concept doesn't change.

Yes, this can not be stressed often enough. It is not limited to species either.
For suprageneric names (families, orders, classes, etc) it is even more 
imperative to indicate the circumscription (exceptions excepted, there are 
some stable names). 
* * *

> So, to be fair, botanists and zoologists alike have been equally culpable
> in failing to cite authorships of taxon circumscriptions, which would look 
> more like:

> "Aus bus (Linnaeus 1758) sensu Smith" (zoology)
> Or
> "Aus bus (Linnaeus) Jones sensu Smith" (botany)
> Often "sec." will be used instead of "sensu".

However, even this is not black&white. There is a long tradition in the
Netherlands of making floristic inventories, and it has long been agreed 
that everybody uses names in the sense of the latest edition of the 
'official' flora (updated every few years). As everybody uses the same 
book, there is no need to indicate circumscriptions (these are 
implicitly agreed on). However, on a wider playing field (say GBIF, 
wikipedia, wikispecies, etc), indicating the circumscription is a 
requirement if information is to be meaningful.

* * *

> Perhaps Brian or someone else can comment on how good or bad
> bacteriologists are at citing authorships of taxon circumscriptions.

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