[Taxacom] Species descriptions in thesis

Pekka T. Lehtinen pekleh at utu.fi
Sun Jun 9 08:52:13 CDT 2013

On 9.6.2013 2:55, Marla Schwarzfeld wrote:
> Dear Taxacomers,
> I am describing a number of new species in my Ph.D. thesis, ahead of the
> peer-reviewed journal publication of the descriptions. However I would like
> the published paper to be the official description. Since my thesis will be
> online, and thus technically fulfill the requirements of the Code, I would
> like to include a statement that the descriptions therein are not the
> “real” species descriptions.  I feel I’ve seen similar statements, but
> can’t find any examples now that I’m looking for one. Does anyone have a
> suggestion for a standard statement that should be included?
> Thanks in advance!
> Marla
       I have many times been wondering the STRONGLY DEVIATING PRACTICES 
of different countries regarding the EXCEPTIONAL (OR LESS EXCEPTIONAL) 
POSITION OF THE DOCTORAL THESES, including at least U.S.A, but possibly 
also many other countries.
       In Finland, this problem has been TOTALLY AVOIDED FOR SEVERAL 
DECADES, at least, and possibly this SOLUTION COULD BE THE BEST ONE FOR 
       In my country, the DOCTORAL THESIS does not constitute a 
different category of publication, but the THESIS is simply an ALREADY 
PUBLISHED WORK in a peer-reviewed journal (as USUAL for long time, 
including my thesis in 1967 - the much cited REVOLUTIONARY WORK in 
spider phylogeny) or, as MORE USUAL later, a series of separate 
PEER-REVIEWED articles (BUT NOT A LESS official "unpublished" work). 
This would make all questions about availability of taxonomic acts in 
       Within this system, all descriptions and other taxonomic acts are 
completely EQUAL TO CORRESPONDING things of publications of other kind 
Of course, as long as this practice will not be OBLIGATORY, all 
individual cases of theses should be TREATED NOMENCLATORALLY AS BEFORE!
       It is possible that such radical change would be difficult to 
realize in countries, where the thesis has DIFFERENT (LOWER!) VALUE than 
post-doc publications, possibly due to attempts to get more doctoral 
theses than in our system.
       It is anyway an alternative which could be tested (OR EVEN 
DIRECTLY APPLIED) in other countries as well. I believe that a similar 
system is NORMAL in many European countries, at least in northern 
Europe, and thus not at all restricted to Finland!
       Pekka T. Lehtinen

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