[Taxacom] Electronic publication under the ICN (formerly the ICBN)

John McNeill johnm at rom.on.ca
Sat Sep 15 08:07:06 CDT 2012

Dear colleagues:

Although not yet published, the text is now complete of the new edition
of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants
(ICN) based on the decisions taken at the XVIII International Botanical
Congress in Melbourne in July 2011 (the Melbourne Code).

In view of the recent interest expressed on Taxacom regarding the
precise rules adopted in Melbourne permitting effective publication
electronically of all nomenclatural acts, such as names of new species
and other taxa, the relevant portion of the new Code has now been made
available on the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)

The url is www.iapt-taxon.org and the pdf that contains Chapter IV of
the Melbourne Code on Effective Publication is

As previous postings note, the proposals were developed by a Special
Committee set up by the Vienna Congress in 2005 that published its
report prior to the Melbourne Congress (see
).  The proposals were debated and slightly amended during the
Nomenclature Section meetings in Melbourne (see

The role of the Editorial Committee responsible for the final text (of
which Chapter IV is now posted at www.iapt-taxon.org) is to ensure
clarity and consistency in wording (without change of meaning) but, more
significantly, to provide Examples of how the rules operate. Providing
suitable examples in this case was, of course, scarcely possible until
after 1 January 2012..  The Editorial Committee has also the authority
to include “Notes” which explain something that may not at first be
readily apparent but is covered explicitly or implicitly elsewhere in
the Code. A few Notes dealing with electronic publication are included. 

I hope and expect that having this chapter of the Code widely available
ahead of publication of the entire text will answer most of the
questions that have been raised on Taxacom regarding the implementation
of the provisions for electronic publication under the ICN (formerly the

John McNeill

John McNeill, Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum;
    Honorary Associate, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
Mailing address:  Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland,
Telephone:    +44-131-248-2848;  fax: +44-131-248-2901
Home office:  +44-162-088-0651
e-mail: jmcneill at rbge.org.uk (johnm at rom.on.ca is also read)


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