[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Jan 13 20:14:15 CST 2017

I would like to further echo Frank's points below (he made the case much better than I just did).  We should not be playing games of "nomenclatural gotcha", with the goal of finding pedantic technicalities for why one *might* interpret a name to be unavailable.  The goal is to be objective and unambiguous.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to eliminate all ambiguity from anything written in the English Language (the current official language of the Code).  In the case of dates and Art. 8.5.2, I actually don't think there is any ambiguity; but as John has noted there is enough dissent among how to interpret the word "date" within the Code for this article that some sort of formal clarification is going to be needed.  But until that happens, we should ALL make decisions about nomenclatural availability that maximally promote nomenclatural stability.  As Frank has said, authors *intend* their new names to be available, so unless a compelling reason for why new names fail to meet the Code are presented, it's generally best to go with the "available until proven otherwise" otherwise (to paraphrase a familiar legal doctrine).

Having said that, there is a slippery slope effect here that we need to be very wary of.  Frank suggests that the requirement for the location of the type depository could/should be ignored.  Some groups have also felt that gender agreement between adjective species epithets and their combined genera can likewise be ignored.  The Code is FULL of pedantic reasons why a strict interpretation of the Code could render an otherwise available name unavailable. At some point, order starts to drift into chaos, as "sense" is not always as "common" as we would often like to believe.

To me, the meta-lesson here is that, as we embark on the daunting task of crafting the 5th Edition (including its conceptual framework, its fundamental premises and guiding principles, and its explicit wording), we should be as careful as possible to come up with a mechanism that minimizes as much possible both the opportunities for ambiguity, AND the minutia of requirements that allow us to engage in exercises of "nomenclatural gotcha".

As a final soapbox plug, this will be MUCH easier to achieve in a clean, reliable, and largely algorithmic "Registered=Available" model that minimizes the influence of subjective interpretations when defining the rules by which new names & acts become available.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Frank T. Krell [mailto:Frank.Krell at dmns.org]
> Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 3:13 PM
> To: Stephen Thorpe; 'John Noyes'; 'Hinrich Kaiser'; 'Scott Thomson';
> deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
> Wrong words.
> Instead: If you are in doubt whether an act is available or not, consider it
> available, because
> a) authors publish nomenclatural acts with the intention to make them
> available, not unavailable
> b) if a part of the community considers an act available, it will be used, cited,
> propagated anyway As a default, consider an act available. Only consider it
> unavailable when it is clearly unavailable. (Clearly would mean: no date of
> publication) What gain do we have if we consider published acts (with all
> associated science) to be unavailable if they could be considered available?
> Does anybody think that an author (or any journal for that matter) will re-
> publish a paper because the original did not contain month and day of
> publication? This will never happen.
> If a type depository is mentioned, but not the location of the depository (as
> required by the Code), does it make sense and does it help nomenclatural
> stability to consider the name unavailable?
> I plead for common sense.
> Frank
> Dr Frank T. Krell
> Senior Curator of Entomology, Editor-in-Chief Commissioner, International
> Commission on Zoological Nomenclature Chair, ICZN ZooBank Committee
> Department of Zoology Denver Museum of Nature & Science
> 2001 Colorado Boulevard
> Denver, CO 80205-5798 USA
> Frank.Krell at dmns.org
> Phone: (+1) (303) 370-8244
> Fax: (+1) (303) 331-6492
> http://www.dmns.org/science/museum-scientists/frank-krell
> lab page: http://www.dmns.org/krell-lab
> The Denver Museum of Nature & Science salutes the citizens of metro
> Denver for helping fund arts, culture and science through their support of the
> Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf
> Of Stephen Thorpe
> Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 4:37 PM
> To: 'John Noyes' <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk>; 'Hinrich Kaiser'
> <chalcopis at yahoo.com>; 'Scott Thomson'
> <scott.thomson321 at gmail.com>; deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
> In other words, if you see a problem in the Code, ignore it!
> Stephen
> --------------------------------------------
> On Sat, 14/1/17, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
>  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
>  To: "'John Noyes'" <j.noyes at nhm.ac.uk>, "'Hinrich Kaiser'"
> <chalcopis at yahoo.com>, "'Scott Thomson'"
> <scott.thomson321 at gmail.com>
>  Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>  Received: Saturday, 14 January, 2017, 12:33 PM
>  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.
>  Aloha,
>  Rich
>  > -----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
>  _______________________________________________
>  Taxacom Mailing List
>  Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>  http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
>  The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be  searched at:
> http://taxacom.markmail.org
>  Nurturing
>  Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years,  1987-2017.
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched at:
> http://taxacom.markmail.org
> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Years, 1987-2017.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list