[Taxacom] taxonomic "vandalism?"

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Oct 5 20:10:57 CDT 2017

There is a bigger context here. What we actually have is a situation whereby formal description of new taxa is often lowest priority among institutional scientists (they sometimes don't even consider it to be part of the "real science", but just a formality!) So, it could be argued that authors who publish enough data for formal description, but do not bother to do the formal descriptions, are in fact the ones who disrespect the Code and zoological nomenclature as a whole. Some of them like to reserve the formal description part for themselves, if and when they get around to it, but their publication record (and job prospects) benefits from doing that later and pumping out as many "looks like real science" papers as they can as a priority. I have little sympathy for them if someone jumps in and names their new taxa before they do!


On Fri, 6/10/17, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:

 Subject: [Taxacom] taxonomic "vandalism?"
 To: "Taxacom List" <TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Friday, 6 October, 2017, 12:25 PM
 We hear massive diatribes about an Australian
 herpetologist naming 
 species that others are wanting to
 name.  However, the common thread is 
 that this is made possible by people
 releasing data that allow these 
 descriptions before they actually do
 the work of describing the 
 species.  There is a perfect example
 of this today, in the news release at
 In this piece there are beautiful
 photos of four new species of geckos 
 who are identified as such, with a
 locality and no descriptions.  At the 
 bottom of the story it says "The formal
 descriptions will appear intwo 
 papers being published over the coming
 I assume that someone who publishes his
 own journal could do it faster 
 than that?
 Is it not simply hubris to put out such
 a story before the species are 
 formally described?  And, if they do
 that and then get scooped, knowing 
 there are people (or person) out there
 alleged to do such things, can 
 they be outraged if it happens?
 Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.
 NOTE: two addresses with different Zip
 Codes depending on carriers
 US Post Office Address:
 Montana Entomology Collection
 Marsh Labs, Room 50
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 Montana State University
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 Marsh Labs, Room 50
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 mivie at montana.edu
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