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Joke, and no joke (was RE: Feathered Dinosaur Specimen (joke - again))
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of
> Tim Williams
> Now that the *frelling paper* (sensu Tom Holtz and Rygel XVI)
Thankfully I don't emit helium...
> is finally
> out, we're left with no name at all for the new feathered
> theropod specimen.
> Damn - I had money on _Sinarchaeornitholestes_!
Yes, there is the ironic situation of a specimen as good as the best
_Archaeopteryx_ skeletons going without a name, while other people want to
assign names to undiagnostic individual caudal centra and so forth.
However, they do so with good reason. Namely, the authors want to ascertain
if this really is indeed a new taxon, or if it might not be referable to
_Sinornithosaurus_ (or, heck, _Microraptor_).
Now, more serious things:
What went on on the list over the last day or so could have seriously
jeopardized the paper in question coming out. In fact, if the issue hadn't
already been printed, there is every reason to suspect a high-profile (for
science...) leak of this sort would have been necessary and sufficient
reason to pull the paper from the schedule.
I know some people might argue that if it is on the web, it is fare game.
However, that is sort of like saying "But officer, the door was unlocked, so
they must have wanted us to take their television". Journals get a lot of
prestige for publishing high profile papers; authors get a lot of prestige
for publishing in high profile journals; we all benefit because the paper
comes out sooner rather than later.
Let us not gunk up the works in future incidents: if you find something
sequestered away on somebody's website, maybe you could ASK THE GUY for
permission to post the URL? Maybe they'll let you; maybe they'll ask to to
Just a thought...
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: email@example.com
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796