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Re: Thesis ethics?

George Olshevsky (dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<Although Alashansaurus is not a scientific name, it is a published name,
and as such it is certainly usable in any public discourse.>

  The ICZN and most American thesis writers do not consider this to be the
case. Even Dan Chure stated that his nomina are not available via
publication ... because they haven't been published.

<our convention of putting the name in quotes to indicate that the name is
not (yet) a scientific name is quite apt, but you don't even have to do

  Yeah, you can follow Dan's recmommendation and not use the name at all,
simply call is n. gen., use it's the most recent available for it that has
been formally published ("Chilantaisaurus" maortuensis), or some other
vernacular instead of any other type of "name."

<You may even cite the name in a scientific paper of your own, if you so
desire. And, most interestingly, you could publish a paper formally
describing a different new genus of dinosaur and call it Alashansaurus,
since Alashansaurus Chure is not a scientific name and cannot preoccupy
your name Alashansaurus. Then Dan could no longer use the name
Alashansaurus for his own taxon. Of course, Dan would not be particularly
pleased about this, and you might also find yourself personally in a bit
of trouble with other paleontologists.>

  Yes, that's absolutely it ... the thesis is a warning, not a
publication, to give other field researchers (paleontologists) and faculty
personel the idea that there's this name ready for publication [it's not
there yet] so as not to publish on it from another quarter. It's a
suggestion of use, but Dan has every right to change his mind as well;
there's also the possibility that before this form can be formally named
another researcher may find an animal on similar material and describe it
as something entirely different, and Dan's name becomes irrelevant.

  A thesis presenting a name is stakign a flag in this case, but it's not
like the thing is a permanent reflection in the Pool of Infinite Taxonomy.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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