[Taxacom] Systematic Entomology

Stephen Thorpe 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(3) My main concern about all this is that taxonomic papers are historical documents, and the electronic equivalent of a historical document on paper is a PDF.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
 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
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 Australia's best reptiles*
 The only hands-on reptiles* shows that lets people hold the
 Reptile parties*<http://www.reptileparties.com.au>, events, courses
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