[Taxacom] Proofs for opinion

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Jan 8 19:21:38 CST 2015

> No. Possibly Paul can corfirm this, but, somewhere, there almost certainly
> AT SOME STAGE a strong implication to the effect that a publication must
> registered on Zoobank before it is published electronically. 

Yes. As I said, Art. 8.5.3 is about as strong an implication as one can get
that registration must happen prior to when a work is considered published
in the sense of the Code.  Note my use of the phrase "published in the sense
of the Code" (which is all the code "cares" about).  Something may be
"published" in the common, vernacular sense well before it is published in
the sense of the Code.

> The problem of
> course is that once it is published without registration, you can't go
back in time
> to preregister it, so it cannot be published electronically. But now Art.
> doesn't seem to say that! Hmmm ...

No, you can't go back in time.  However, if an electronic work fails to
fulfill the requirements of the Code, then it is not "published" in the
sense of the code.  An electronic work cannot be "published without
registration" ("published" in the sense of the Code), therefore there is no
need to go back in time.  From the perspective of the Code, it is only
published when all criteria are met.  It may have been obtainable in
pre-published form (again, "published" in the sense of the Code) without
included evidence of registration.  But it is only considered "published"
(in the sense of the Code) if the criteria are met.

> I think that the meaning of "issued" is actually quite clear, and so that
a pre-
> 2011 electronic publication cannot be rendered valid by adding
registration etc.
> In fact, nothing before mid-2012 can be, because the archiving statement
> not be made on ZooBank before then. There is published discussion on this
> point, somewhere.

All electronic works (without paper equivalents) issued prior to 2012 do not
exist as publications in the sense of the Code.  If an electronic work that
is obtainable on January 1 2012 (regardless of whether it was also
obtainable prior to this date) fulfills all the requirements of the Code for
electronic publications, and no paper edition was made obtainable prior to
that date, then why isn't that work considered to be published in the sense
of the Code?  Of the 17 instances of the word "issue" or "issued" in Art. 8,
only once is it qualified as "first issued" (Art. 8.1.2).

> You say [quote]I think that the earliest reasonable date in that case
would be
> the date on which all requirements were fulfilled[unquote]. But that is
> problem! How can you tell on what date a missing LSID was added to a PDF
> the publisher doesn't come clean and state that date?

Yes, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.  And that's the issue I was
driving at in my post.  First we need to clarify exactly when the date of
publication (for purposes of priority) would be in a case where we had
perfect knowledge.  We don't even seem to have consensus on that yet.  Once
we get consensus on that, then we next have to figure out how we determine
when a work fulfilled the requirements of the Code.  But as I said, this is
a problem that has always existed for works produced on paper. It's just
that electronic publication has afforded us an opportunity to shine a
spotlight on this long-standing problem.

> We don't have the same problem with dating paper publications as we have
> electronic ones, as I'm sure that your colleague Neal can explain to you.
> been to a library? Journal issues in libraries have accession date stamps
> librarians have no reason to falsify them). 

Yes, and people get emailed PDFs, and files on hard drives have date-stamps
when they were downloaded.  In my experience it's MUCH easier to figure out
when a PDF was first obtainable than it is to figure out when a paper
publication was first obtainable.

> The original idea behind archiving
> electronic publications was to make such archives the electronic
equivalent of
> libraries, but, because Zootaxa output is faster than archiving can keep
up, this
> requirement got watered down to a mere statement of intent to archive.
> Hmmm...

That's pretty weird to hear you say that, given that Zhi-Qiang was a very
strong proponent of archiving requirements during the discussion.  If you
really want me to explain the Pandora's box that would have been opened by
requiring archiving (rather than intent of archiving), then brace yourself
for some really long emails.  Suffice it to say that we would have had a
MUCH bigger mess than we have now. 


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