[Taxacom] Nomenclatural anarchy

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Thu Apr 9 05:40:39 CDT 2015

Citing Clerck's names from 1757 should simply be legalized in the next 
edition of the Code, and that problem would be solved.
Ignoring gender agreement in lepidopterology is another thing that could 
be legalized by the Code. These two things could have been done since 
long time ago. There is a long tradition behind, and a stable behaviour 
of experts.

I do not find such issues frustrating, I rather see them as a challenge 
for people who love to find easy ways how to solve problems.

Comma between author and year is a recommendation, not a legal rule in 
the Code. I rergard this as neutral.

Now electronic publication is a different matter. Here we have no long 
tradition. I had been opposed to allow recognising new names from 
electronic publications. Such problems had been predicted.
What we need now is more experience. Would future scientists some 
decades later recognize such names that were introduced electronically 
without Zoobank registry? Or would the Zoobank entries finally win the 
game? I do not see much we can do now.

I wish there would have been a democratic process in this decision. My 
concept of a democratic process would involve a voting procedure by 
registered persons. Then the rules of the Code would have a stronger 

- University of Goettingen, Germany -

Am 09.04.2015 um 11:37 schrieb Michael Schmitt:
> Dear colleagues,
> the posting cited below opens - to me, at least - the question how relevant we regard the Code, the Commission, and/or tradition in our business of taxonomy. "Standard practitioners" regard "publicly available" as "published", no matter what the Code says. Fishbase does not put a comma between author and name, no matter how long this was good practice, the arachnologists cite Clerck's names as of 1757 (contra art. 3), and the lepidopterists ignore gender agreement (contra art. 31.2).
> I find this frustrating. Who, if not we - the academics - should respect a set of rules established by fellow scientists through a democratic process?
> Just my humble opinion.
> Sincerely
> Michael
> Prof.Dr. Michael Schmitt
> Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universitaet
> Allgemeine & Systematische Zoologie
> Anklamer Str. 20
> D-17489 Greifswald
> Germany
> Tel.: ++49 (0) 3834-86 4242
> Fax: ++49 (0) 3834-86 4098
> E-Mail: michael.schmitt at uni-greifswald.de
> http://www.mnf.uni-greifswald.de/institute/fr-biologie/institute-und-forschung/zool-institut-museum/allgemeine-und-systematische-zoologie/personal-staff/prof-dr-michael-schmitt.html
> " if the article was publically available on the net in 2014, in this day and age it's de facto published in 2014. It's natural that the author of the 2014 'internet names',  doesn't see a problem, especially if they have grown up with the internet. If it is a problem for WoRMS then WoRMS need to change their rules. It is quite possible that I and other biogeographers, systematists, ecologists, conservationists etc. have already used the 'unpublished' 'internet names'
> from the Cladistics 2014 paper in our own publications - this is now standard practice."
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