[Taxacom] Availability of Nephilingis Kuntner, 2013

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Aug 22 17:15:56 CDT 2019

 Doug said: "That's why we have Article 8.5 in its present form, which insists upon evidence of archival status in order to treat an e-only work as published"
That's a bit of a spin, Doug! The only requirement is a statement of intent that the work will be archived, with no requirement for follow up to see if that is actually the case! A statement of intent is not "evidence". In practice, too many articles are being pre-registered on ZooBank without a specified archive, and this isn't something that can be checked by only looking at the published work itself. How many people are bothering to check details on ZooBank to confirm Code compliance? Not many, I suspect. But, at the end of the day all we really need are coping mechanisms for when things do go wrong, like an unarchived e-only work goes offline forever. It isn't the end of the world! Surely it is no worse than a lost or destroyed holotype? Is it worth having a complex system or rules which can trip authors up on a technicality just to avoid situations which could be easily enough handled by other means? Possibly not, I suggest.

    On Thursday, 22 August 2019, 06:16:49 pm UTC, Doug Yanega via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:  
 On 8/22/19 6:14 AM, Evangelos Vlachos via Taxacom wrote:
> 1) The name was *not* proposed in the Appendix A of the paper. The name is
> proposed in the abstract of the paper (the journal is both print+online) as:
>> Nephilengys species fall into two clades, one with Australasian species
>> (true Nephilengys) as sister to Herennia, and another with Afrotropical
>> species (*Nephilingis Kuntner new genus*) as sister to a clade containing
>> Clitaetra plus most currently described Nephila.
> and later as well:
>> The clade containing Nephilengys cruentata, N. livida, N. borbonica, and
>> N. dodo, is here transferred to a *new genus, Nephilingis
>> Kuntner (Appendix A). *
>  2) I think that one point that needs to be discussed is whether or not the
> type species is fixed indeed in the original publication or not, because it
> is actually fixed in the Appendix.
If the Appendix is not published in the sense of Article 8.5, as has 
been suggested, then this would make the name definitively unavailable, 
as it would violate Art. 66.1. You cannot cite an unpublished work.

I'll remind everyone that it took over 10 years of serious debate and 
discussion to wrangle the "electronic publication" amendments into the 
Code, primarily because of one strong objection from the community, that 
can be summarized as follows:

"We don't like the idea of treating e-only documents as published works, 
because they lack the kind of archival status that guarantees we can 
find and access them in perpetuity"

That's why we have Article 8.5 in its present form, which insists upon 
evidence of archival status in order to treat an e-only work as published.

I would assume that the majority of taxonomists STILL believe that it is 
unacceptable for nomenclatural acts to be "published" in a manner that 
does not guarantee access in perpetuity. As such, we should object to 
any journal that compels (or allows) authors to place nomenclatural acts 
into supplementary materials that are not part of the permanent public 
record, and refuse to publish in any such journal until and unless they 
change their policies.

Be that as it may, it still does not appear to me that Nephilingis is 
Code-compliant under Art. 8.5. People who claim it should be considered 
available regardless of its lack of Code compliance appear to be 
claiming that it's okay to ignore the Code. I don't agree. We didn't 
spend 10+ years negotiating the details of those amendments just so 
people could ignore them for the sake of expediency. Numerous authors 
who have violated those provisions have re-published their names in such 
a way as to make them Code-compliant, and it looks like a similar 
solution may be needed for Nephilingis.


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)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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