[Taxacom] Important note Re: two names online published - one new species

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Wed Jan 27 03:53:36 CST 2016

Hi Paul,

Thanks for this, and I don't think we disagree that much (though I'm not sure what "unwritten part of the Code" you refer to).  I will likewise summarize my views as follows:

Establishing correct date of publication has always been fraught with complexities and ambiguities, going back long before electronic publication.  Since the Amendment has allowed for electronic publication, and in the context of the immediacy of information dissemination via the internet (a major contributing factor to the original pleas by the taxonomic community for the Code to be Amended to allow for electronic publication), we have a dramatically increased awareness of, and sensitivity towards, more precise dates of publication.

The Amendment has created new problems, the more obvious one being ambiguities in establishing precise and correct dates of publication; and the more problematic one being the ambiguity associated with Art 9.9 (and it's sister, Art. 21.8.3). A genuinely new problem is that Amendment established, for the first time, requirements associated with publication that are not self-evident from the work itself (i.e., the requirements of an ISSN and an intended online archive to be included in the ZooBank registration record).  Three years before the Amendment was originally drafted (in 2008), a publication outline technical aspects of how Zoobank might function in the context of the Code:
Having just re-read it now for the first time since we wrote it, I am struck by its naïve optimism (5th Edition of the Code going into effect in 2008?!)  However, at the time many of us recognized the potential problems with creating a "Registered+Published=Available" system (as we currently have for electronically published works), so we (mostly Doug Yanega and I) pushed for an envisioned system that kept all the components of availability in one place, but moved that one place from conventional publication to an online registration system (the main difference between Doug's vision and mine was that Doug felt the system should be peer-reviewed, and I did not).  Now, a decade later, I am more certain than ever that we will ultimately end up with a disentanglement of the science of taxonomy (which should continue within the paradigm of scholarly publication) and the legality of nomenclatural availability (which should be consolidated within a single online registration system, much more robust than what we have today in ZooBank).  So many of the problems we fret over now would disappear (and, of course, some new ones will inevitably be created).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf
> Of Paul van Rijckevorsel
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 11:13 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Important note Re: two names online published - one
> new species
> Given that this thread has run for a long time, and that I hope to have made
> my points (for whoever cared to read it), I will wrap it up (on my part) with
> just these points:
> * "intended date of publication", it seems to me that this will not help. How
> about a publication going online in, say, Jan 2016 which says about the date:
> "The senior author worked hard to realize this magnum opus, with an
> intended date of publication of 21 Jan 2012, the 50 year anniversary of his
> marriage, but he passed away in early 2010, and did not live to see it
> published."
> If an adjustment is deemed necessary, something along the lines of Article
> seems much clearer.
> * Speaking in general, I was already uncomfortable with early versions of
> pdf's that are officially to be counted as publications, although they are to be
> altered lated to add metadata or be entirely replaced by an new pdf. This
> makes verifying things by going back to the original publication a process
> that is virtual to a considerable degree.
> But now, apparently, we are to have pdf's that, after copies have become
> available by purchase or free distribution, are sitting there, waiting for a
> ZooBank process to be completed, so that copies will become available by
> purchase or free distribution.
> And this based on an unwritten part of the Code, that contradicts what is in
> the Code, if one takes it at face value.
> This may be politically expedient, but, as writing a Code of nomenclature
> goes, this is bad design, to put it mildly.
> Paul
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
> To: "'Paul van Rijckevorsel'" <dipteryx at freeler.nl>;
> <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Cc: "'engel'"'" <msengel at ku.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 7:56 PM
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Important note Re: two names online published - one
> new species
> Hi Paul,
> > I don't follow this.
> > 1) You start off by referring to Article 21.4, which deals with the date
> > of
> > publication, in the sense of the Code.
> > And then you deny that the date of publication in Article 8.5.2 is
> > intended as
> > the date of publication, in the sense of the Code.  If it is something
> > different,
> > then it is pointless to refer to Article 21.4, as it cannot apply.
> No, I did not "deny that the date of publication in Article 8.5.2 is
> intended as the date of publication".  Of course it is the intended date of
> publication!  But the key word here is "intended".  If I understood your
> position correctly, you seemed to suggest that inclusion of a date within
> the work somehow establishes a "window" of time within which all
> requirements for publication must be fulfilled, and if all requirements are
> not fulfilled within that stated window, the work cannot (ever) be regarded
> as being published.  If this were true, then there would be no need for
> articles that address dates incorrectly stated within the work. If I
> misunderstood your position, then I apologize.
> > 2) If the Editorial Committee intended something different why didn't they
> > put in something different?
> I'm not sure I understand your question.  If you are asking whether the
> Editorial Committee intended Art. 8.5.2 to apply to the intended date of
> publication, then we are in agreement.  Where we disagree is in my
> (incorrect?) interpretation of your position as being that the date included
> in the work must be treated as an exclusive time window, within which all
> criteria must be met.  The Code does not say that explicitly, and implicitly
> (e.g., Art. 21.2, 21.4) indicates that dates stated within the work may be
> treated as incorrect.
> > 3) The Preamble states "The meanings given to terms used in this Code are
> > those shown in the Glossary."
> Agreed; and the glossary defines the date of publication as: "the date on
> which copies of the work become available by purchase or free distribution.
> If the actual date is not known, the date to be adopted is regulated by the
> provisions of Article 21.2-7" It does not invoke the date as stated within
> the work of established a defined window within which the work must meet
> all
> criteria for publication. It does refer to Art. 21.2-7, and Art. 21.4
> addresses dates incorrectly stated within the work itself.
> The problem, of course, is that the glossary was not amended to
> accommodate
> the (novel) situation we have now where all criteria necessary for
> publication are no longer included within the work itself.  In 20/20
> hindsight, we should have revised this definition along with the amendment
> to make it clear that the work becomes available when all requirements are
> met.
> So we now have a situation where there is some ambiguity in determining
> the
> date of publication.  As I tried to explain in my first post to this thread,
> the Commissioners have recognized this problem, and most of the
> Commissioners I've spoken with agree that, in the context of this ambiguity,
> the interests of nomenclatural stability are best served through
> interpreting the date of publication as being the date on which all
> requirements are fulfilled.
> If you disagree that this is the best approach to addressing the ambiguity,
> then we should certainly discuss other approaches.  However, if you are
> trying to maintain that the existing wording of the Code unambiguously
> establishes (via Art. 8.5.2) that the date stated in the work itself defines
> a window within which all criteria must be met, and that there are no
> situations in which the date that fulfills the requirement of Art. 8.5.2 can
> be interpreted as "incorrect" in the sense of Art. 21.4, then I completely
> disagree.
> > 4) Anyway, Article 8.5 states three requirements for an electronically
> > distributed work, and you now postulate that the second of these
> > requirements does not apply?
> When did I postulate any such thing?  What I am refuting is your apparent
> assertion that the stated date within the work itself cannot be regarded as
> incorrect (i.e., the defined window within which all criteria be met).  Art.
> 21 clearly accommodates cases where the stated date of publication within
> the work are incorrect.
> > As the Code is written, it is very explicit: the publication must state
> > the date
> > of publication.
> Agreed.
> > And the Preamble makes it clear that, by definition, there is
> > just the one "date of publication", that of the Glossary.
> Agreed.
> > If it appeared on
> > some other date, then the date of publication was not stated in the work
> > (but some other date), and thus the work does not meet the requirements
> of
> > Article 8.5.
> Agreed, except I would qualify it slightly to say "... then the CORRECT date
> of publication was not stated in the work..."
> > It is not published in the sense of the Code.
> Then why do we have Art. 21.4?  What circumstances would Art 21.4 apply
> to?
> Are you suggesting that it applies only to works produced on paper?  If so,
> on what basis would you make such a claim?  If not, then what, exactly, are
> we arguing about?
> > As to Article 21, it is not so much that it does not apply, but it does
> > not bear
> > on the matter.  Article 8.5.2 states a simple, direct requirement, without
> > room for any qualification.
> And here, I think, is where we fundamentally disagree.
> > Article 21 might be thought to bear on the issue of establishing if
> > something
> > did indeed appear on the date stated, but there is a logic trap.  Namely,
> > if it
> > appeared on another date, it was not published in the sense of the Code,
> > and
> > the whole Code does not apply (just as the Code does not apply to the
> > latest
> > pop song).
> It seems you are putting a lot of words into the Code that are not there.
> > Anyway, that is what the Code says, leaving out any unwritten parts.
> At least we can agree on following what is in the Code, and not relying on
> any unwritten parts!
> I'm sorry, Paul - but I simply do not follow your logic.  I may well be
> misunderstanding your point, but it sounds like you interpret the wording of
> Art. 8.5.2 as somehow locking some sort of window of time, and not
> allowing
> for an incorrect date to be stated within the work itself.  I would almost
> agree that one could legitimately interpret it this way (among other
> legitimate interpretations). However, because the wording in Art. 8.5.2
> mirrors that of 21.2 (both refer to a stated or specified "date of
> publication" within the work itself), and 21.2 clearly accommodates
> situations where evidence is contrary to such a stated "date of
> publication", I cannot see your position (at least as I understand it) to be
> legitimate.
> Aloha,
> Rich
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