[Taxacom] Systematic Entomology
stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Jul 28 16:12:06 CDT 2014
These issues have been discussed previously. Zoological nomenclature has never been, and will never be, an "exact science" (=a logically water-tight and well-defined system of rules). The advent of electronic publication is making it worse, not better. Some comments:
(1) You say [quote]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[unquote]. Note that it also needs to state "the publication date" and ZooBank reg. number in the work itself. Note also that the latter, and maybe even both these statements can be incorrect (!), and maybe "the publication date" can just be a year (and possibly even an incorrect year!);
(2) The way that the Code is being applied in practice, pagination and issue assignment are considered to be metadata, rather than part of the work itself, so online first articles can be available before print (though neither Zootaxa of ZooKeys publishes anything without final pagination etc.) However, there can be some doubt, but the print edition usually isn't far away, so EXACT publication dates probably aren't going to be an issue for many cases. When journals go e-only, then there would seem to be no need for versions to be published before page numbers and issue numbers are assigned, so in practice there is unlikely to be a problem either way;
(3) My main concern about all this is that taxonomic papers are historical documents, and the electronic equivalent of a historical document on paper is a PDF. Different PDF, different document. So, if names become available online first, and that PDF isn't archived (which it seems it never is), then the publisher typically replaces the online first PDF with the paginated PDF, and we no longer have any official record of the actual document in which the names were made available! This could be a problem!
On Mon, 28/7/14, John Noyes <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk> wrote:
Subject: [Taxacom] Systematic Entomology
To: "iczn-list at afriherp.org" <iczn-list at afriherp.org>, "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Received: Monday, 28 July, 2014, 9:37 AM
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
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?
Department of Life Sciences
Natural History Museum
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 ...
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
..... here's waiting!
All the best
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