[Taxacom] ICZN procedure question

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Thu Nov 11 16:25:24 CST 2010

Some requirement of indication of intent to describe a new taxon seems
highly advisable.  In addition to the accidental pre-publication in
the example above or other abstracts, publicity, etc., there is the
issue of online copies of works otherwise not deemed to be
appropriately published.  Examples include many dissertations, which
are being submitted electronically now at many institutions, and the
scanning of older works that currently are considered unavailable for
nomenclature due to inappropriate publication.  Already one can
download some works from the 1800's that were declared invalid because
they were not published by ICZN standards.  Does the Google scan make
it published?  If so, is the date of publication the date of scanning,
the date of the original work, ...?

The discussion at last year's American Malacological Society meeting
was fairly uniformly against allowing electronic publishing of names,
so there does seem to be opposition in some quarters.

Another serious problem is the question of permanancy.  Quite apart
from the prospect of unscrupulous individuals changing or backdating
things, there is the fact that even major publishers do not always do
a good job of maintaining their current online publications.

Is it that difficult to make sure that a few paper copies are
deposited in libraries?

Dr. David Campbell
The Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca NY 14850

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