[Taxacom] manuscript name question

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat Oct 3 13:29:22 CDT 2015


Thank you for the concise summary. It looks like I might be able to post it
with no repository or locality information. Since there is at this time no
pressing need to post the image I will not do so in order to avoid any of
the potential complications.

John Grehan

On Sat, Oct 3, 2015 at 2:03 PM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

> On 10/3/15 9:28 AM, John Grehan wrote:
>> Since I am not so deeply involved in nomenclatural issues, and even though
>> I might find an answer somewhere in the rules of zoological nomenclature,
>> I
>> would be grateful for advice regarding a digital image that I have for a
>> specimen which was apparently given a manuscript name (according to some
>> we
>> sites, although I have not seen the manuscript itself - perhaps something
>> I
>> can follow up on with the institution with his archives) but never
>> published.
>> I obtained this image as part of a series of images from a museum to post
>> on my website on Hepialidae (Lepidoptera). The locality is of general
>> interest as well as the appearance of the specimen. Do I post the image
>> without reference to any name, do I post the image without giving locality
>> data or reference to a repository (as I understand from earlier
>> discussions
>> on another taxonomic controversy over Australian snakes, anyone could make
>> up a name and publish it purely on the basis of the image and knowing
>> where
>> the specimen is deposited and its collection information). Advise on this
>> matter would be gratefully received.
>> Since 2000, the Code requires an explicit statement that a taxon name is
> new in order for a name to be available, in part to prevent "accidental"
> establishment of new taxa, so YOU are safe in putting up a photo, even if
> you give it a provisional name. However, your concern that someone ELSE
> could take your image and data and use them to produce a
> minimally-compliant description (to claim authorship for themselves) is
> well-founded, because (as you note) this sort of thing has happened before,
> sometimes invoking Article 73.1.4 as a "loophole". If you are legitimately
> concerned, then there are no steps you can take at present to prevent the
> unethical "repurposing" of your image by a third party in order to
> establish a new taxon. This is precisely one of the examples Commissioner
> Harvey and myself raised when we solicited opinions from the taxonomic
> community as to whether they felt the Code should include formal measures
> delineating ethical behavior, such that works violating the rules could be
> declared unavailable. There was no clear consensus, so the status quo -
> where the Code of Ethics (ICZN Code Appendix A) is simply a list of
> recommendations with no penalties for their violation - will stand for the
> foreseeable future. YOU, collectively, had the power to decide whether to
> permit such behavior or not, and only a tiny handful of you responded. The
> Commission will abide by the community consensus, but we can't read
> people's minds. At present, the only Code-compliant option for eliminating
> such names is via the LAN mechanism (Article 79), which is incredibly
> arduous. The "boycotting" of names is something presently being used within
> the herpetological community, but this is action outside of the Code; the
> Commission can neither condone it nor prevent it, so in that sense, it is
> always an option. That is, if someone steals your photo and uses it to name
> a new taxon against your wishes, make the theft public, and ask that no one
> acknowledge its existence - refuse to include it in checklists or catalogs,
> or publish it in any capacity that would treat it as an available name. If
> no one *ever* treats it as an available name other than the person who
> named it, then it ceases to be a problem for the taxonomic community, even
> if the Code formally allows for it to be recognized.
> Sincerely,
> --
> Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
> Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
> phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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