[Taxacom] e-only publication for zoology, starts today

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Thu Sep 6 05:13:47 CDT 2012

From: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 11:33 AM

This is a very good discussion, and along the lines of what the
Commissioners wrestled with when making the decision about the effective
date of the Amendment.  The slopes are slippery in all directions.

One of the things I looked into during the ICZN discussion was the complete
list of works published after 2011 that were registered in ZooBank.
Presumably, this is the finite pool of possible works that could have been
considered published (or, at least could be confused as being published) in
the sense of the Amendment prior to September 4th. The point was to look at
the subset of such registered works that had an electronic version (not all
did), then the subset of *those* works where the electronic version was
published earlier than the paper version (or lacked a paper version), and
then the subset of *those* works that met the other criteria of the
Amendment (Archived, ISSN, etc.).  Although I did not research every single
work, I was unable to find any that met all of these criteria. Certainly,
none of them had an Archive indicated in ZooBank.

Another thing to consider: in general, when there are multiple criteria for
a published work to be available under the Code, and all those criteria are
not met simultaneously, then it seems to me that the effective date of
publication (for purposes of establishing nomenclatural priority for the
included nomenclatural acts) is the date on which all of the criteria are
fulfilled.  This has been the general model for new names (a model that I
believe is also followed for botanical names -- i.e., that the effective
date of establishment of a new name is taken as the date on which all
requirements of the protologue are fulfilled).

Following this logic, a PDF generated in March 2012, that had its Archive
indicated in ZooBank in September 2012, would be effectively published in
September; not March.

Is this logic flawed?


Oh yes, I full well realize that this is mostly an academic discussion.
For the vast majority of cases registered in ZooBank the date of 
publication would be the same for the online and print versions,
so it does not particularly matter if the PDF is published in the sense
of the zoological Code. Only when the online version would be
published earlier would there be an actual, practical difference 
(I am assuming that ZooBank did not register e-only publications 
until now).

As to your line of reasoning, this seems to be at odds with 
Article 8.5.2: if it was not published on the date stated in the
publication then surely it was not published at all? Certainly,
not with a difference of months involved.

Whether a publication can spring into existence in September
with a publication date in March, this appears to to depend
on how you read "be registered" in 8.5.3. It is not unreasonable
to assume that the requirements listed in and
must all have been met for "be registered" to have taken place.
However, that does not mean it cannot be read differently. In 
fact, if you do assume this, it does mean that until the internet
addresses of Archives were added (which happened at a later
date than the announcement of the Amendment) no e-only
name was published ("The entry ... must give the Internet
address ..." which was not the case, initially).

So, arguably, any e-only name published before the Internet 
addresses were added was not published at all, but again
the average ZooBank user cannot tell if this is the case, on
the evidence available...

Slippery, indeed.


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