[Taxacom] Do rogue taxonomists need rogue publishers?

Wuster,Wolfgang w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk
Mon Feb 1 04:52:02 CST 2010

Donat Agosti wrote:
> A lot more easily than anyone can ever PROVE that something did NOT 
> exist. A date-stamped copy from around the date of online publication in 
>  > 1 library would sort the question of availability out once and for all.
> It is so easy to go and find this library. Might this be the reason, that we
> do not even know what has been published - some people call this taxonomic
> impediment and discard taxonomy as part of conservation and science (see the
> notes on funding of taxonomy).

I'm not sure I fully follow your point. My point is simply that if there 
is a dispute about whether a supposedly online+paper publication is 
actually published under the provisions of Article 8, then the author 
and/or publisher should be able to point out which libraries received 
copies, which can then be checked, demonstrating publication beyond all 
doubt. Proving the existence of something is logically much easier than 
proving its non-existence - c.f. Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot etc.

Recommendation 8D places the onus for ensuring that names are 
"self-evidently published" squarely on the author/publisher, and 
Recommendation 8C specifically recommends deposition in publicly 
accessible libraries. If an author/publisher fails to follow these 
recommendations, they have only themselves to blame if their names are 
considered as "not published" by other taxonomists and they cannot 
conclusively prove publication.

Dr. Wolfgang Wüster  -  Lecturer
School of Biological Sciences
Bangor University
Environment Centre Wales
Bangor LL57  2UW
Wales, UK

Tel: +44 1248 382301
Fax: +44 1248 371644
E-mail: w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk

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