[Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic versions of taxonomic papers

John Noyes j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk
Fri Oct 16 10:33:08 CDT 2015

The page number must definitely be fixed. Otherwise it might become a nightmare, or at best a confusing pain, to give a meaningful citation to a nomenclatural act in on-line or even hard copy databases/catalogues, especially where longer publications are concerned. That is the absolute crux of the matter. If the text and other associated details remain the same then I have absolutely no problem. It is the change in page number between early pubs and final pubs that makes all the difference!


John Noyes
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Department of Life Sciences
Natural History Museum
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jsn at nhm.ac.uk
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-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Laurent Raty
Sent: 16 October 2015 16:21
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Nomenclatural availability of preliminary electronic versions of taxonomic papers

On 10/16/2015 03:47 PM, Scott Thomson wrote:
> In response to Laurent. I agree there seems to be no real and absolute 
> final version if you count the adding of #tags as a part of the document.

Well, I think that, ideally, it should (have) be(en) possible for the user to assess the integrity of a work distributed electronically. If a publication had been defined as a given distributed file, with a fixed sequence of bytes, this would (have) be(en) fully straightforward--all it requires is that a checksum value be released together with the original work. This is fairly standard practice for other types of files distributed through the Internet.
Assessing the integrity of a "content and layout", if the file is allowed to change, is at best a nightmare.

OTOH, I'm not sure there's a real, deep, qualitative difference between allowing file alteration as a result of a change in a download date and ip address added to the footer, and allowing file alteration as a result of a change in a page number added to the header.
Thus if you *must* allow the file to change, is it really worth the effort to require that the page numbers be fixed...?

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