[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Jan 13 17:33:32 CST 2017

Thanks, John.

There is no doubt in my mind that this ambiguity needs to be rectified in the next edition of the Code.  Given that there is ambiguity, I believe the correct course of action is to interpret the Code in a way that maximizes nomenclatural stability.  I would suggest that given the highly pedantic nature of this specific requirement (Art. 8.5.2), coupled with the dubious value it offers to the Code and nomenclatural stability in general, nomenclatural stability is probably maximized by assuming that the names established within e-only works that include incompletely specified dates should be regarded as available until demonstrated otherwise.

Moreover, I think it's helpful to note that this specific question has been discussed within at least two ICZN meetings (Singapore and Berlin), and in both cases the consensus was that incompletely specified dates were regarded as being within compliance of Art. 8.5.2.  However, I do not believe there was any specific vote on the matter.  Moreover, if I'm not mistaken, most (all?) ICZN Commissioners who have commented on this thread interpret it this way as well (i.e., that an incompletely specified date fulfills the requirements of Art. 8.5.2, and is consistent with the glossary definition).

For all of these reasons, I would strongly advocate that names published in e-only works wherein the date was incompletely specified should be regarded as available unless and until the Commission issues a formal ruling otherwise.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Noyes [mailto:j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk]
> Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 5:57 AM
> To: 'deepreef at bishopmuseum.org'; 'Hinrich Kaiser'; 'Scott Thomson'
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
> Hi Rich,
> You wrote:
> "OK, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here.  My read of the "date"
> requirement for electronic publications does not indicate that it must be a
> "complete date". My read of Art 21.3, "Date incompletely specified", is that
> it a "date" (in the sense of the code) is still a "date", even if it is "incompletely
> specified".  As such, an incompletely specified date fulfills the requirement
> for a "date" to be included within electronic works.  Similarly, "Date
> incorrect" of Art 21.4 implies that an incorrectly stated date is still a "date" in
> the sense of the Code, so even if the "date" included in an electronic work is
> both incomplete and incorrect, it fulfills the requirement of Art. 8.5.2
> because, by my read at least, both "incomplete dates" and "incorrect dates"
> are still "dates" in the sense of the Code."
> I think that the fact that there is disagreement about this is really important
> because it has relevance (currently at least) to the availability of
> nomenclatural acts. Judging by e-mails on this topic the split seems to be
> fairly even which means that taking this requirement the way we understand
> it about half of us would regard e-pubs with the year only as the date of
> publication as available whilst the rest would regard them as unavailable.
> This will surely have a bearing on stability and that is why I think it cannot be
> just left alone.
> John
> John Noyes
> Scientific Associate
> Department of Life Sciences
> Natural History Museum
> Cromwell Road
> South Kensington
> London SW7 5BD
> UK
> jsn at nhm.ac.uk
> Tel.: +44 (0) 207 942 5594
> Fax.: +44 (0) 207 942 5229
> Universal Chalcidoidea Database (everything you wanted to know about
> chalcidoids and more):
> www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids

More information about the Taxacom mailing list