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Re: Publication Practices
I just want to add something, regarding those practices I have ranted
against (I admit it) in the last few days, and then I will be done myself.
The mere practice of creating duplicate documents and distributing them
freely does not in fact constitute publication, or even the creation of a
permanent record. If I were to, say, diagnose a new taxon (call it
"Smithosaurus") and print it out all nice and pretty and wordy and stuff,
and then distribute this to a _1000_ people, I would not have published
that document. The same goes for reviewing manuscripts _for_ publication;
no matter the number, the manuscript does not constitute a publication. If
one were to die or become ill or in any other way incapable of
distributing said document, one has further reduced access to that
information and its source. This is the #1(b) reason _Palaeontologica
Electronica_ submits CD's of each volume to the Library of Congress: from
there it is possible to create _infinite_ reproductions of the document
under fair-use laws (reason #1(a) is to comply with ICZN regulations on
how publication must be met to name taxa, but that is for the reason in
#1(b), creation of an infinite, public record). These volumes also have
ISSN or ISBN numbers, to permit access to information.
Dissertations have a permanent public record, but by consent, their
taxonomic foibles do not count as "published" despite going through the
same, if more rigorous, reviews that journal publications go through. So
even though American theses (MSc or PhD) are indexed and housed at UMI,
they are still not publications.
I think I'm done now.
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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