[Taxacom] Thesis and new species

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Thu Nov 14 03:49:15 CST 2013

The case where nobody buys or gets a copy is a different
issue (if nobody ever saw a copy, how can anybody know
what is in the book?).

Entire print runs being destroyed may be rare, but it is
conceivable and I know of at least one case where it
happened (in WW II, through an aerial bombardment),
with something like one or two copies surviving: this
is counted as not published as the destruction happened
before it was "distributed".

The crux lies in "obtainable", and to me this means that
if I am in the right place, on time, with sufficient money,
I can get a copy. A single library having a copy forced
on them does not appear to me to meet this requirement.

Note that the ICNafp does not speak of "obtainable",
but of "distribution" with libraries explicitly mentioned
as being sufficient.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Frank.Krell at dmns.org>
To: <dipteryx at freeler.nl>; <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 5:40 PM
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Thesis and new species

The Code only requires that it has been produced in a print run, and that it
must be obtainable when first issued.
Any print run can burn. In your example, the thesis was obtainable when
first issued. It wasn't obtainable shortly after that, but this is
Seems weird to you? Yes. But the destruction of a whole print run, in a
warehouse of a publisher, or in a garage of a self-publisher, or in a garage
of an author, is pretty rare.
The distribution of a published work cannot be regulated. If a book has been
produced in a print run of 10,000, but nobody wants to buy it, it is still
published under the Code.

And then there is the trend that print runs getting less common as even
commercial publishers produce digitally, meaning on demand.

Dissertations is an issue. They were often produced and distributed in a
higher number of copies than "traditional" published books. UMI or the
British Thesis Service have been offering them for purchase. I bought them
from university libraries directly (e.g. from South Africa). They were often
much more easily obtainable than books from smaller publishers. Still, we
(or many of us) consider them unpublished because that's what we always did
(not sure if there is any other reason).
If Dissertations contain nomenclatural acts, and the author wants to publish
them again separately in 12 different papers, then he/she has to include a
disclaimer in the thesis to avoid a mess.


Dr. Frank-T. Krell
Curator of Entomology
Commissioner, International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
Chair, ICZN ZooBank Committee
Department of Zoology
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80205-5798 USA
Frank.Krell at dmns.org
Phone: (+1) (303) 370-8244
Fax: (+1) (303) 331-6492
lab page: http://www.dmns.org/krell-lab
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science aspires to create a community of
critical thinkers who understand the lessons of the past and act as
responsible stewards of the future.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list