[Taxacom] are early online publications code-compliant?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Apr 13 16:49:37 CDT 2015

Neal has in part just posted what I just posted! I think though, that my key point is that for "validation" of names to confer availability, all we actually need is some kind of verification that the name has indeed been published. At present, an entry on ZooBank provides no such verification, indeed most registrations happen *before* publication, with no guarantee that publication will follow.


On Tue, 14/4/15, Neal Evenhuis <neale at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] are early online publications code-compliant?
 To: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>, "'Frank T. Krell'" <Frank.Krell at dmns.org>, "'Sue Gardner'" <sgardner2 at unl.edu>, "'John Noyes'" <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk>, "'Stephen Thorpe'" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>, "gread at actrix.gen.nz" <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
 Received: Tuesday, 14 April, 2015, 10:28 AM
 On Stardate 4/13/15 10:32 AM,
 "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
 >I've generally been staying out of this discussion -- in
 part because
 >this horse has already been repeatedly beaten to a pulp;
 and in part
 >because I've just been too busy with other things. 
 However, I happened
 >to re-read something just now that PERFECTLY captures my
 own perspective
 >of how to solve all of this:
 >"...it seems likely, in the longer term, and with the
 development of new
 >information systems, that the solution will not lie in
 patching up a
 >definition of publication but, rather, in scrapping it
 and finding a
 >means of replacing "publication" as a primary
 determinant of
 >Brilliant!  EXACTLY right, in my opinion!
 >By the way, here's the source of the quote:
 >[Second paragraph under the heading "Development of
 Let's think through what the ramifications of that idea for
 the "future"
 of name availability might entail.
 To put things in context, the next paragraph (after the one
 linked above
 by Rich) discusses "registration" of names (thereby implying
 that this
 might be the way to the future of determining
 Registration in and of itself has been touted previously on
 this list (and
 the iczn-list) as the simplest way to deal with when a name
 available (much like what the bacteriologists do). And it
 makes sense as
 there would be one central place for all registration of
 names and each
 name would be date-stamped as to registration.
 But we must look at names as more than just "names" and
 their date of
 availability. In effect, names are the same as patents. They
 each purport
 to be something novel and the author(s) of each want(s) to
 ensure s/he is
 the first to propose that novel entity so registers it:
 patents with a
 patent office and, in our case, names of animals with
 ZooBank (Priority is
 a major factor in registering patents the same or more than
 it is with
 names -- at least monetarily!). But as of now (with
 ZooBank), no
 "evidence" [= criteria of availability] of a proposed name
 needs to be
 included in registration - only the citation of the work in
 which it
 If registration were to replace "publication" as the
 determinant of
 availability of a proposed name, then it would need to be
 much more than
 what ZooBank is now. It would need to be what Doug Yanega
 has been
 advocating for years: a central "journal" for all names so
 that all the
 other criteria of availability of a proposed name meet with
 compliance of
 the required Articles of the ICZN Code. But then, let's not
 call it a
 "journal" anymore because it really is not [remember, we are
 trying to do
 away with "publication" as the medium of verification of a
 new name].
 ZooBank would have to then be a "repository" of all
 associated data of a
 name -- the same as a patent office is with patents. Every
 patent has
 documentation included with it. ZooBank, then, should also
 have all the
 documentation associated with every proposed name. Merely
 pointing to a
 "supposed" publication outside of the registration system
 can and will be
 filled with abuse,  problems, and maybe even
 non-compliance (as we already
 see happening). No, in order for the system to work
 perfectly, ALL
 compliance for the availability of the name MUST be met and
 deposited in
 the registration "repository" upon registration.
 In that great pie-in-the-sky, this all seems perfect and
 with oodles of
 Petabyte servers and unlimited funds supporting such a,
 registration system, it might even be doable.
 However, until employers (mainly in academia) do away with
 their employee taxonomists based on where they publish
 (i.e., high ranking
 journals), many taxonomists will not switch over to this
 registration/repository system.
 We will, IMO, for the foreseeable future, be "publishing"
 (electronic or
 print) and having to deal with the high ranking journals who
 tell US what
 to do because they have many by the short-and-curlies
 because those
 taxonomists need to keep their jobs and keep publishing in
 those high
 ranking journals. .... And registering names in ZooBank that
 point to
 where they are "published".
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