[Taxacom] two names online published - one new species

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Jan 22 14:55:39 CST 2016

Hi Stephen,

Let me clarify... I scale the magnitude of the issue using a baseline of paper-based publications and/or the situation as it existed prior to the amendment for electronic publication.  I often see lots of frantic arm-waving and other forms of virtual panic about one crisis or another related to electronic publication.  To be sure, there are some new problems that have been introduced with the Amendment, and CERTAINLY the Amendment did not solve all of the problems that existed before it (nor could it have).  As Doug has already alluded to, the Amendment represents a compromise between many different possible approaches, and ultimately reflects the best consensus of the community at the time.

One thing the Amendment has done is shine a spotlight on problems that have existed for a long time, but which people scarcely noticed before.  That they went unnoticed before doesn't mean that they were any less serious before; only that many of us were blissfully ignorant.  One might argue that an "ignorance is bliss" approach is warranted, but it seems incompatible to basic scientific principles that we taxonomists would generally like to adhere to.

So, here are some examples of things that are helpful:
- Specific observations about how the existing rules fail in particular circumstances
- Constructive suggestions on how the next edition of the Code can be improved to minimize such failures

And here are some examples of things that are not helpful:
- Frantic arm-waving and hyperbolic exclamations about how the nomenclatural sky is falling.
- Misrepresentation of problems with the Code that have been illuminated by the Amendment for electronic publication as though they were *caused* by the Amendment (when in most cases they were, in fact, extant prior to the Amendment, and in many cases at least mitigated to some extent by the Amendment).
- Representing personal interpretations about how the Code "should" be, with what is actually written in the Code.
- Utterly bogus (and, frankly,  childish) accusations that the Amendment was somehow nefariously influenced by the needs/demands of the for-profit publishing community.

Note: Stephen, I am not necessarily accusing you of all these things; but I've seen examples of them fly through Taxacom and other venues on a regular basis.

In answer to some of your specific questions: every edit to every record in ZooBank is logged with information on what field was changed, what the previous and new values are, who changed them, and exactly (to the nearest millisecond, UTC time) when the change was made. So, for example, if you edited archive info into the Zoobank record for Systematic Entomology, there would be a record of the fact that you edited it, and exactly when you edited it. Not all of this information is visible on the ZooBank website, but as soon as we receive the next round of ZooBank development funding, much of it will be added. In the meantime, I am happy to retrieve and provide this information for any field of any record. 

Finally, can you elaborate on what you mean by this statement:
"BTW, congrats to Z.-Q. Zhang on his recent appointment as head of the ICZN"

Either you know something that I don't, or this serves as one more example reflecting the reliability of your insights on the ICZN and its functions.

Thanks, and Aloha,

Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences | Associate Zoologist in Ichthyology | Dive Safety Officer
Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252 email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen Thorpe [mailto:stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz]
> Sent: Friday, January 22, 2016 10:29 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; 'engel'; 'Doug Yanega';
> deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] two names online published - one new species
> The issue may not be "huge", but I think it is probably bigger than you
> indicate. There can be problems in determining "the earliest date on which all
> of the requirements have been met". Adding to this problem is the fact that
> many publishers are publishing print editions online ahead of actual print
> (sometimes by months). We have already seen Frank Krell suggest, quite
> erroneously in my view, that "March 2016" must be a mistake on the
> Cretaceous Research website. In fact, it is no mistake! They have published
> their March 2016 print edition online already, but it presumably won't be
> actually printed until March! One, I suppose only fairly minor problem,
> concerns the nominal year of publication for taxon names, which is
> frequently widely appended to the names (i.e., Aus bus Author, YEAR). It is
> now very hard to choose between one year and the next (if online versions
> are published in one year, but the print version isn't actually printed until the
> following year). Another problem is that many people have wasted a
> significant amount of time doing preregistrations on ZooBank that were in
> fact pointless. They thought that they were validly publishing online first!
> There are also issues relating to how easy it might be to make apparently
> retroactive edits on ZooBank, which cannot be (at least not publicly)
> datestamped (for example, what would happen if I now edited archive info
> into the Zoobank record for Systematic Entomology?) Regrettably, I think
> that in the rush to push through a Zootaxa optimised electronic amendment,
> the ICZN has created rather a confusing mess for many authors and
> publishers to try to deal with. BTW, congrats to Z.-Q. Zhang on his recent
> appointment as head of the ICZN (I would have thought that there was
> rather a big COI involved there, but apparently not...)
> Stephen
> --------------------------------------------
> On Fri, 22/1/16, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
>  Subject: RE: [Taxacom] two names online published - one new species
>  To: "'Stephen Thorpe'" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>,
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu, "'engel'" <msengel at ku.edu>, "'Doug
> Yanega'" <dyanega at ucr.edu>
>  Received: Friday, 22 January, 2016, 6:45 PM
>  Well, it's neither
>  new, nor huge*.  But it is a problem, and it was a problem  that was
> recognized prior to the publication of the  Amendment, and one which the
> Commissioners have discussed  several times.
>  The
>  fundamental question that we do not have a definitive answer  for yet (even
> though we have an over-abundance of opinions),  is how to establish the
> date of publication for purposes of  priority, when the following dates are
> non-identical:
>  1) The date on which the
>  publication was registered in ZooBank.
>  2)
>  The date of publication as stated in the ZooBank record.
>  3) The date of publication as stated in the  work itself.
>  4) The date on which the first
>  electronic edition of the work was obtainable.
>  5) The date on which the ISSN or ISBN was added  to the ZooBank record.
>  6) The date on which
>  the Intended archive was added to the ZooBank record.
>  7) The date on which a revised version of the  electronic edition of the work
> was obtainable (e.g.,  containing evidence of registration).
>  8) The
>  date on which paper copies were obtainable.
>  There are other dates as well
>  (e.g., the date of publication as stated in the paper  edition of the work,
> etc.), but I hope you get the point  that it's not a simple issue, because there
> are many  possible dates associated with a given work.
>  So... which is the date of
>  publication for purposes of priority?  Certainly, most  would agree that it
> cannot be prior to #4 (assuming the  above list is in chronological
> sequence).  Certainly, not  after #8 (provided the paper edition meets all
> other  criteria of the code for paper-based publications).  Most
> Commissioners I have discussed this with agree that the  logical answer is,
> generally "the earliest date on  which all of the requirements have been
> met".   As #2 has no bearing on any article  in the Code, we can probably
> ignore that one.  But all the  others are in potential play.  One could argue
> (pretty  effectively, in fact), that while the Code requires  electronic works to
> include the date of publication to be  stated within the work itself, there is no
> requirement that  it be the *correct* date of publication.  Indeed, if such a
> requirement was, in fact, part of the Code (or how the Code  is interpreted),
> stability would most likely suffer.
>  Until there is clarity on this
>  issue, either by Declaration, Amendment, formal statement,  or ratified 5th
> Edition by the Commission, it seems to me  (and most others I've discussed it
> with), that the  trusty "the earliest date on which all of the  requirements
> have been met" approach seems the most  logical to use as a guideline.
>  Aloha,
>  Rich
>  *The reason it's not a "huge"
>  issue is that it ultimately affects date of publication for  purposes of priority;
> and while there may be a few cases  where potentially competing names
> both fall within the  "grey zone", there certainly aren't many.
>  > -----Original
>  Message-----
>  > From: Stephen Thorpe
>  [mailto:stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz]
>  > Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2016 11:53  AM  > To:
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu;  engel; Doug Yanega  > Cc:
> deepreef at bishopmuseum.org  > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] two names online
> published - one new species  >  > Doug (CC Rich),  >  > I think we may have
> just stumbled upon a  huge problem: "the ZooBank  >  registration state both
> the name of an electronic archive  intended to  > preserve the work and  ..."
>  >
>  > I have
>  always assumed that the publisher does this, once for each  journal?
>  > Certainly Magnolia Press does
>  it for Zootaxa (not surprisingly, perhaps, since  > the whole electronic
> amendment is arguably  optimised for Zootaxa). How  > many  authors think
> to worry about the archive when registering  articles on  > ZooBank? Bugger
> all!
>  Looking at some random records on ZooBank, I'm now  > worried that a
> large number of them fail  this requirement! I think we need  > some
> clarification here (Rich?)  >  > Stephen  >  >
>  --------------------------------------------
>  > On Fri, 22/1/16, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
>  wrote:
>  >
>  >  Subject:
>  Re: [Taxacom] two names online published - one new  species  >  To:
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu,  "engel" <msengel at ku.edu>  >  Received:
> Friday, 22 January, 2016,
>  10:17 AM
>  >
>  >  On
>  1/21/16 1:03 PM,
>  >  Stephen Thorpe
>  wrote:
>  >  > It is worth
>  >  noting that Michael Engel did
>  preregister his article (twice
>  >
>  actually!) on ZooBank:
>  >  >
>  >  > 18 October 2015 http://zoobank.org/References/A6A94078-42E5-48B8-
>  > B602-49DA7D0523F6
>  >
>  [Record not publicly viewable]
>  >  >
>  13
>  >  November 2015 http://zoobank.org/References/ADFE8605-38F3-45C6-
>  > B686-5094367C9695
>  >
>  >
>  >  > It would therefore
>  >  appear to be the fault of the journal  (Cretaceous Research)  editorial
> team  >  that no ZooBank registration was indicated in  the  publication, and
> very  > unfortunate in  this case since it  the same taxon was apparently
> validly  > described as new by  Pohl  & Beutel shortly after!
>  >  >
>  >  It is not just this one thing that
>  causes the  name to be unavailable.
>  >
>  There are *three*
>  >  requirements under
>  the present ICZN, and the Engel et  al. online paper  > failed to comply with
> *two* of  them, not  just one. Note  the following  > (from
> >  http://iczn.org/content/electronic-publication-made-available-
> amendment-
>  > code):
>  >
>  >  " The requirements for
>  >  electronic publications are that the  work be  registered in ZooBank before
> it  > is published,  that the work itself  state  the date of  publication and
> contain  > evidence that registration has  occurred,  and that the ZooBank
> registration  > state  both the name of an  electronic  archive intended to
> preserve the work  > and the ISSN or  ISBN  >  >  associated  with the work."
>  >
>  >  The online version of this
>  >  work fulfills the first of these
>  criteria,  but neither of the latter two.
>  >
>  >  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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