[Taxacom] labeling redescriptions properly

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Sep 9 15:53:00 CDT 2011

Well, yes -- "secundum" has been around since Roman times.  And I also agree
that it's been used in biology earlier as well.  I meant (and should have
written) "in this sense".

The "usage" of "sec." in ZooBank is (intended to be) identical to what
Berendsohn meant it to be used for.  Because we are talking about labeling
things outside the scope of ZooBank (even though they may appear on ZooBank
pages), the Code is not our guide on this discussion.  As far as I'm
concerned, Berendsohn's use of the term is the most explicitly documented
for such, and until I see a compelling reason to change to something else
("sensu" or "cited in" or "used in" or "according to" or whatever), I'm
quite happy sticking with this established standard (more established than
any other, as far as I can see). It's short (three letters and a period),
and much less ambiguous than many other qualification tags we often see
embedded in taxonomic labels ("cf.", "aff.", etc.)

As I said, I will go with whatever the community consensus is.  As you note,
there does not appear to be a common consensus (yet).  Therefore, there is
no reason to alter the existing practice (yet).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Francisco Welter-Schultes
> Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 12:57 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Donat Agosti
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] labeling redescriptions properly
> > But just to be clear, "sec." has been in use since the 1990's.
> The term "secundum" had been used earlier, Berendsohn only proposed to
> specify its use to a particular sense in the 1990s.
> Berendsohn did not invent it as a new and previously unused term.
> I do not see common consensus. The usage in ZooBank is one of several
> possible interpretations of the term, and moreover, not commonly accepted
> and not commonly used in all zoological disciplines.
> > How about replacing "sec" with either "cited in:" or "used in:"
> Yes, or in Spanish or German if you like. This is the form suggested by
> ICZN Code. The terms should as exactly as necessary denote what is meant.
> See the example given in Art. 51.2.1 (where using the terms "sensu", "as
> interpreted by" and "tel que compris par" is proposed), other examples for
> specifications of subequent usages are in Art. 70.3.2 and Art. 72.7.
> Art. 45.6.2: the term "published by"/"publiƩ par" is here used for an
> unavailable name.
> Art. 11.10: "in the sense of a misidentification used by".
> Donat,
> > we need the
> > means of displaying clearly and unambiguously that this treatment of
> > taxon X has been extracted in publication Y authored by Z.
> You would probably have to create trillions of pages, if you intend to
> every treatment of every name in every publication. Nobody could ever rely
> on the completeness of your data resources.
> Francisco
> University of Goettingen, Germany
> www.animalbase.org
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