[Taxacom] Systematic Entomology

John Noyes j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Jul 28 04:37:35 CDT 2014

Dear All,

I recently  was sent a prepublication ("EarlyView") version of a taxonomic paper in which various nomenclatural acts are proposed:

Baur, H., et al. 2014 Morphometric analysis and taxonomic revision of Anisopteromalus Ruschka (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae) - an integrative approach. Systematic Entomology  DOI: 10.1111/syen.12081.

This electronic publication can be considered as valid according to Article 8 of the ICZN dealing with electronic publications. Or can it? On the face of it is complies with the Code in that it has been registered with ZooBank and it has a publication date of 12 June 2012.

My doubt is that according to Articles 9.9 and 21.8.3 preliminary versions of works accessible electronically in advance of publication are not to be considered as published. It seems a sort of circular argument here. Can this EarlyView version can be considered published merely because it appears to comply with Article 8 or can it be considered as unpublished because it is an advance version of the final version (which will have volume and final pagination - both absent from this version).

If it cannot be considered as published then I foresee no problem. However, if it can be considered as published then it may be opening a can of worms and I am wondering if there is any decent way of solving the problem before it becomes general practice.

In my view such prepublications (if they are available) must be treated as completely separate publications because they do not have IDENTICAL volume and pagination to that of the final printed version or electronic version. This in turn will making databasing for nomenclatural purposes difficult because the pagination (at least) and lack of volume number means that the publication in which a name (and other nomenclatural acts) is made available originally has to be recorded as a DOI (not as a volume number) and the page number as it appears in the prepub and not the printed version. To say the least it is confusing because, in the future, I can see two versions of effectively the same paper being recorded as the primary source of a nomenclatural act whilst only the prepub will be the correct one. Publishers regard these prepubs as a temporary, earlier version of the final (printed) version of the paper and thus will al most certainly not make effort to make them permanent records in any way and so, in time, the primary source of a nomenclatural act will be lost.

My thought is this. Is it really necessary to publish a prepublication of a taxonomic paper? I think not - we taxonomists are not under the same pressure as medics or particle physicists to publish first. So why publish a prepub at all? From a taxonomic/nomenclatural point of view it is pointless and very frustrating, especially for those of us that are trying to maintain electronic taxonomic databases. Can we do something about it before it is too late? I suspect that if these code compliant prepubs are not abandoned now then many, many other journals are going to follow suit making life difficult for us all.

Of course, it is likely that all journals will be eventually produced in only electronic format but until that happens I think prepubs (that are ICZN compliant) for taxonomic/systematic papers should be abandoned.

What are the views of others?


John Noyes
Scientific Associate
Department of Life Sciences
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London SW7 5BD
jsn at nhm.ac.uk
Tel.: +44 (0) 207 942 5594
Fax.: +44 (0) 207 942 5229

Universal Chalcidoidea Database (everything you wanted to know about chalcidoids and more):

From: iczn-list [mailto:iczn-list-bounces at afriherp.org] On Behalf Of Raymond Hoser - The Snakeman
Sent: 17 July 2014 06:37
To: iczn-list at afriherp.org; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [iczn-list] Time to renounce ... Malayopython ... taxonomic vandalism?

Dear all, nothing better epitomizes the taxonomic vandalism and misuse of the zoological code than the Wuster gang's over-writing of the 10 year old established name Broghammerus with their own coined name Malayopython.
In spite of their best and tireless efforts of carpet bombing and harassing of everyone to use their improper nomenclature, people are resisting them.
As Wuster and Schleip post here regularly and they can see  from the attached image (one of many) that their ill-conceived attack on the nomenclature code is not having the unanimous support they allege ... people still use the proper names, I ask them to formally and publicly renounce their group's name Malayopython in order to create stability for users of the taxonomy and nomenclature.
I note that the species involved, is a high conservation significance animal.
..... here's waiting!
All the best

Snakebusters*<http://www.snakebusters.com.au> - Australia's best reptiles*
The only hands-on reptiles* shows that lets people hold the animals*.
Reptile parties*<http://www.reptileparties.com.au>, events, courses
Phones: 9812 3322
0412 777 211

More information about the Taxacom mailing list