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Dinosaur Genera List corrections #176



I recently received a copy of Dan Chure's dissertation on Allosaurus from 
University Microfilms International. In it he defines and diagnoses three new 
taxa: Alashansaurus n. gen. for the species Chilantaisaurus maortuensis; 
Szechuanoraptor dongi n. gen. et sp. for a skeleton previously referred to 
Szechuanosaurus campi; and Allosaurus jimmadseni n.sp. for the marvelous 
Dinosaur National Monument skeleton that for a couple of years remained 
headless. Also on p. 226 he publishes the museum label name Allosaurus 
robustus for an Australian allosauroid specimen. Dan's dissertation is the 
most thorough and up-to-date study of the genus Allosaurus ever produced, and 
it is a must-have document, at least until its contents are published in a 
scientific journal or some other scientific venue.

As I perused the dissertation, I got to thinking about whether or not such 
dissertation names should be considered as published. The International Code 
of Zoological Nomenclature expressly excludes dissertations from their 
definition of a publication, so there is no question that the above taxa, 
despite their documentation in the dissertation and its subsequent 
distribution, are not available as scientific names. But the Dinosaur Genera 
List has a broader definition of what constitutes a published dinosaur name. 
Clearly, such documents as emails, Internet websites, interoffice memoranda, 
scientists' notebooks, private conference abstracts, manuscripts, 
limited-distribution preprints, and so forth are not publications. Neither 
are dissertations limited to a few personal and library copies. But when a 
dissertation becomes available to >anyone< with $31 through University 
Microfilms International, in endless multiple copies produced from a single 
master, this is publication. An essential part of the concept of publication 
is availability and distribution, and the Dinosaur Genera List deems printed 
documents available freely or by purchase to any interested readers, in 
multiple identical copies, to be publications. The method of printing is not 
relevant, as long as a more or less permanent paper copy is produced; the 
availability is.

Accordingly, I have set up a new category of dinosaur name, the nomen 
dissertatio, for dinosaur names appearing in dissertations that are made 
available to all through services such as University Microfilms 
International. Such names are not scientifically available, so they are a 
kind of nomen nudum, or vernacular name. If the name created in a 
dissertation is later formally published, then its listing would change from 
a nomen dissertatio to that of an available scientific name. Should the 
dissertation name change on publication, the name would remain in the List, 
but with a pointer to the correct scientific name. The year of publication is 
the year the dissertation was made available through the publication service, 
not necessarily the year the dissertation was completed.

Incidentally, my Latin is not good enough to permit me to settle on the 
designation nomen dissertatio. If someone can suggest a better or more 
appropriate term, then I'll change it by all means. Also, what would the 
plural of nomen dissertatio be? Nomina --what?

So names #926 and 927 of the Dinosaur Genera List become:

Alashansaurus Chure, 2001 [nomen dissertatio]
Szechuanoraptor Chure, 2001 [nomen dissertatio]

Adding the new taxa to the forthcoming second printing of Mesozoic Meanderings
 #3 will require some dismantling and rearranging of the listings for 
Allosaurus and Chilantaisaurus, as put forth in the dissertation. This I 
haven't yet finished, so I cannot present them here.

If anybody knows of other dissertations that contain new dinosaur names >and< 
that are available as described above, I would like to hear from you. It is 
my aim to make the Dinosaur Genera List as complete as possible in this 
respect.