[Taxacom] Plagiarism & Public Domain

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Tue Nov 30 15:31:23 CST 2010

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.  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.

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

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

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


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