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Fwd: Epidendrosaurus/Scansoriopteryx

Forwarded with permission from Jerry Harris (jdharris@sas.upenn.edu) who
applied some rules and quaky authorities that I had not considered. In my
attempts to give Czerkas (ed.) a chance, I failed to note that the ICZN,
as I had earlier argued with George, is either concrete on the issue, or
too flexible. We shall see....


  Jaime A. Headden

> Jaime (et al -- feel free to pass this on to the list):
> >From what I've seen of *Scansoriopteryx*, at least what I think has
> been
> >made into that taxon, it has some superficial and distinctive features
> >that compare easily to *Epidendrosaurus* and argue for synonymy: ...
> Anyway, by any matter, with dating of the release, not the printed date,
> >of Czerkas' volume, *Scansoriopteryx* has precedence if synonymous over
> >*Epidendrosaurus*, which was only just published in print (when it is
> >"legally" published).
>      OK, there are a lot of things here that most people don't seem to
> be
> aware of that are pertinent to the issue.
> (1)  _Naturwissenschaften_, like many journals that are now publishing
> things on-line before paper copies are issued, are registering their
> articles with Digital Object Identification (DOI) numbers.  I've perused
> the
> DOI web site and can't find anything definitive about any relationship
> that
> organization may have with the ICZN (I've ordered one of their info kits
> but
> it hasn't arrived yet).  I have written to them to inquire about any
> specific relationship with the ICZN and any ICZN rule stipulations that
> may
> have arisen as a result.  (I have also found nothing on DOI in the
> Bulletin
> of the ICZN.) However, _Naturwissenschaften_ reports that the issue of
> names
> with regards to their on-line publication has arisen previously, in a
> botanical case.  Although they provided no details, they made it sound
> as if
> the ICBN upheld the validity of the on-line article over whatever the
> second
> publication was, largely due to the DOI registration -- apparently, one
> can
> cite a unique DOI number as pointing to a unique publication, and that
> was
> considered valid.  If this is true for the ICBN, and if the ICZN follows
> suit, then _Scansoriopteryx_ is a junior synonym of _Epidendrosaurus_.
> (2)  The ICZN has wholly failed to define "published."  Does this mean
> simply that it rolled off a printing press and exists somewhere on
> paper,
> regardless of whether or not it has been circulated?  If so, then one
> could
> publish something and have it sit in boxes in some warehouse for years,
> where no one has access to it, and still claim that any information in
> it
> supercedes any subsequently "published" work.  This is potential future
> bovid coprolites (PFBC, for short).  The Czerkas volume, while certainly
> gorgeous in its presentation, may indeed have been _printed_ prior to
> the
> on-line release of _Epidendrosaurus_, but I checked their web site
> fairly
> continuously over the month preceding its release, and it certainly
> wasn't
> offered for distribution until about the day it was announced on the
> Dinosaur ListServer, at least a week or two after the _Epidendrosaurus_
> paper came out.  In my book, that doesn't qualify the Czerkas volume for
> priority over the on-line _Epidendrosaurus_ article (providing the
> conditions above for DOI are met).  Does "published" mean "printed _and_
> distributed by a satisfactory means?"  If that is true, and the ICZN
> isn't
> going to recognize DOI numbering of electronic publications as valid
> publications (which would, I think, be a bad idea -- the entire
> zoological
> community would not have any impetus to publish in DOI journals -- or
> any
> jornal that publishes on-line, for that matter -- if it isn't going to
> provide them with any additional benefit over a non-DOI journal, and
> heck,
> whatever was the web invented for if not to make distribution easier and
> faster?!!???), then yes, the Czerkas volume has priority.  As of this
> moment, since no one apparently knows what the ICZN's take on DOI
> numbering
> is, no one can state one way or another which name is valid and which is
> the
> synonym.  (This, of course, all hinges on whether or not the two
> specimens
> represent identical taxa!  ;-D  )  Personally, I'll be using
> _Epidendrosaurus_ until shown conclusively otherwise that there is no
> way in
> hell that the ICZN will recognize the on-line publication of
> _Epidendrosaurus_ as valid.
>      And before anyone asks:  yes, _Naturwissenschaften_ has been fully
> appraised of this situation and is, I hope, attempting to contact the
> to resolve this issue.  All we can do now is wait...
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Jerry D. Harris
> Dept of Earth & Environmental Science
> University of Pennsylvania
> 240 S 33rd St
> Philadelphia PA  19104-6316
> Phone: (215) 573-8373
> Fax: (215) 898-0964
> E-mail: jdharris@sas.upenn.edu
>  and     dinogami@hotmail.com
> http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~jdharris
> "If one had to sum up, in one word, the reason
> that human beings have not fulfilled, and never
> will fulfill, their ultimate potential, that word
> would be: 'meetings.'" -- Dave Barry

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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