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David Marjanovic (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
<Why so aggressive/frustrated this time? Or am I misinterpreting your
No. I want to get to the core of what I think is either too lax of a
system or too easy a one to play with, and to point out reasons why the
current recommendations and "registration" need to be tighter, more
controlled. There is no "frustration" involved, even if the intent is
aggressive as far as it goes to get my points across.
<It isn't automated. If you coin a name and want it to be valid, you have
to visit the registration database (available online, of course) and
submit it. The webmaster will register it as soon as you notify him/her of
And what qualifies as publication? David stated below that _some_
dissertations _could_ be, which is ridiculous: dissertations on their face
have NEVER been treated as a valid source of nomenclature, no MATTER the
number of institutionally available copies there were, or how many people
had a copy of it. This is usually why authors of dissertations tend to
_publish_ their work after the thesis/dissertation has been accepted and
they attain their degree; some publish work from it PRIOR to acceptance,
but that is a moot issue.
4.2. Publication, under this code, is defined as distribution of text (but
not sound), with or without images, in a peer-reviewed book or periodical.
To qualify as published, works must consist of numerous (at least 50
copies), simultaneously obtainable, identical, durable, and unalterable
copies, some of which are distributed to major institutional libraries in
the field so that the work is generally accessible as a permanent public
record to the scientific community, be it through sale or exchange or
gift, and subject to the restrictions and qualifications in the present
<No more nomina nuda.>
Actually, if it were to meet the requirements of publication, the name
can still be considered as published in agreement to the code. Does this
name get "forgotten" until the description/definition exists? Or someone
actually assigns it a number? It's that "someone" that worries me.
<Hardly, because the qualifications for validity are so simple. Note that
before actually submitting the name, the author is most likely going to
search the database for a homonym (identical name) or synonym (identical
Possible, doesn't mean s/he will. Are we including all invertebrates to
avoid *Syntarsus* and *Rahova* conflicts again? What plants will go in,
and who will rename *Gastonia,* the tooth, preoccupied by the plant?
<A few dissertations _can_ be -- simply if they meet the criteria of
publication, such as public availability in enough copies. We've had that
discussion. By extrapolation, I don't believe it's regulated what a
"casual" magazine might be.>
"4.2. Publication, under this code, is defined as distribution of text
(but not sound), with or without images, in a peer-reviewed book or
periodical. To qualify as published, works must consist of numerous (at
least 50 copies), simultaneously obtainable, identical, durable, and
unalterable copies, some of which are distributed to major institutional
libraries in the field so that the work is generally accessible as a
permanent public record to the scientific community, be it through sale
or exchange or gift, and subject to the restrictions and qualifications
in the present article."
... and ...
"Note 4.2.2. Approval of a work by a thesis or dissertation committee
not constitute peer review."
... show that NO dissertation/thesis is valid.
<- Under the ICZN, you _don't need_ any statement of intent.
*Ricardoestesia* and *Richardoestesia* are two different names under the
ICZN (even though they just so happen to be objective synonyms). Likewise,
each and every misspelling in a published (according to the Code) work is
a new scientific name.>
Fortunately, this is also how the ICZN treats different names, since it
was possible for a name to be valid if it disagreed by only ONE letter
with another name, where before this was more vague and required
arbitration or renaming.
<- Under the ICZN, it's enough to publish a name to make it valid. It's a
nomen nudum in that case, but still. Under the PhyloCode a name cannot
become validly published if it isn't already registered!>
It can't be a nomen nudum unless it's published. If it's published with
intent, under the code, it's not a nomen nudum. Imagine how this works
out: Mike Keesey publishes his description of a clade system (see
http://dino.lm.com/) in a periodiocal (note, publication criteria doesn't
require peer-review, it says "_or_ periodical" [of which _Prehistoric
Times_ is one]) as a description, using the names *Alpha,* *Beta,* etc.
These, because they show NO intent to name new species but simply form
species/genus and clade groups by explicit use, even offer definitions,
become absolute valid names. This WON'T work under the Phylocode due to
the following (restated):
<"7.2. In order to be established, a name of a taxon must: (a) be
published as provided for by Article 4; (b) be adopted by the author(s),
not merely proposed for the sake of argument or on the condition that
group concerned will be accepted in the future; (c) comply with the
provisions of Articles 7 and 9-11; (d) be registered as provided for in
Article 8, and the registration number be cited in the protologue; and
(e) comply with the provisions of Article 17.">
This note does in fact require a statement of intent, otherwise how does
one differentiate something written "for the sake of argument" versus
anything else that would then not qualify 7.2.b?
<In other words, it is _impossible_ to create a nomen nudum under the
PhyloCode. You simply can't make a name that doesn't have _at least a
Let's go back a few steps. It is NOT possible to publish a name, and
THEN register it, as I understand it from Article 7. It must be registered
PRIOR to publication. Now, some magazines have embargoes, and while this
doesn't prevent them from dispersing info to newspapers for dissemination
_on time_, it does involve an interesting connundrum: I would have to
REGISTER my name prior to publication, THEN verify to the database that it
exists, to get the registration number, THEN get that published IN THE
PROTOLOGUE, which has to be published with the name to make it valid.
Correct? Say that I manage to get this registration number back in time to
get it into the protologue prior to publication, but the editorial process
has closed, and it is no longer possible for me to make emmendations or
add a corrigendum to my paper. What do I do now?
<It also works on lots of names that the current codes do cover. That's
called "conversion of preexisting names".>
I DID mention this, to my credit, in the sense of "names the ICBN/ICZN
does not cover."
<That's an advantage of the former over the latter, and that's my point.>
Except that the name *Avgodectes* has, also, applied to what PhyloCode
considered criteria of publication (it was in a periodical, ya know),
shows an intent to name species, make itself available for the permanent
record, and a nearly complete "protologue" either in Peters' article, or
in Wang and Zhou which Peters referenced for the sake of
illustration/photo and further description. Hey, it saves paper time! The
name is now available to be a converted clade name.
<Yes -- that wasn't the topic at all.>
Actually, that was part of the whole topic: this thread isn't about JUST
the PhyloCode and registration, it involves as I was hoping to discuss
registration and consideration of validity, coming back to *Avgodectes* to
make it's points.
<"8.2. At the submitter's request, a name or definition that he or she
proposed can be changed or removed from the registration database if it
is not yet published.">
Ah, but it WAS published. It was just published in ERROR. As one may
note, some names get noticed for error after publication, a condition we
may recall with regards to *Agnostiphys*/*Agnosphytis*. This is a critical
point that the PhyloCode has one hand DOWN from what the ICZN can do: a
first revisor, preferrably the original authors, may indicate in press
which name was the intended name. At this point, BOTH names should be
entered as published, a database of erroneously published names,
essentially, or lapsus calami, but only ONE gets a registration number as
nomen validum. Simple as that. BUT that's a lot more work, isn't it?
References definitions, not the name.
<I can't quite imagine an editor dropping a word, however.>
It can happen by accident. A word, a letter, etc.
<Article 8.2 gives you lots of time to correct everything.>
It can't slow the flow of editorial or publication time, and the period
in which you have to correct your draft or plate before the process is
closed so that it may go to press. The PhyloCode spends more time
discussing rules for definitions and registration than it does referencing
publication criteria and the ability to correct this ... except for the
definition and pre-publication correctiveness, not post-publication
corrections, etc. It's as if the registration act is the end-all of
<Er... a name without a definition can't be valid under the PhyloCode. If
you want to publish a name without a definition, and want people to use
it, you'll have to use the appropriate preexisting code -- as you'll have
to do for species as long as the rules for species won't be written.>
It is available as a name to be made into a converted clade name, so
sure it is. All one has to do is supply a definition ANYWHERE and get that
to the PhyloCode FIRST, before anyone beats you to the punch.
<Yes, and? I don't quite understand what your point is.>
It is unneccessary to supercede the ICZN for recommendations regarding
availability of nomenclature of names it covers, when PhyloCode will
reject them for not having a definition, or that the registration process
really is about a guy punching in a few numbers to the tune of a running
clock. Or that validity of the name depends on when the registrar can see
the name, at no other time, and made available by date=n. I made a point
contradicting an automated process, and this would seem refuted by the
admission of a person who has to be told of a publication date and time.
Someone has to check to make sure that publication is REAL. NO one can go
back and fix the errors in publication, or determine which name was the
intended proper name, because ...
"14.3. When two or more synonyms have the same publication date (Art. 5),
the one that was registered first (and therefore has the lowest
registration number) takes precedence."
... it has already been decided. Note further:
"18.1. The original spelling of a name established under this code is the
correct spelling and should be retained in subsequent publications,
except for the correction of typographical errors (see Art. 18.5). The
original spelling is the one that is used in the protologue at the time
of establishment and that is registered (see Art. 8)."
... that name would be under 14.3. But then, the following ...
"18.3. If the registered spelling of a name disagrees with the spelling
the protologue, the author should determine which is correct. If the
author determines that the registered spelling is incorrect, it is to be
corrected in the registration database and a note added stating that the
change was made. If the protologue is incorrect, the registration
database is to be annotated to alert users that this is the case.
"18.4. If the registered spelling of a name disagrees with the spelling
the protologue or the name is spelled more than one way in the
protologue, and the author is no longer alive or is otherwise unable to
determine which spelling is correct, the following guidelines are to be
used: If it is clear that all but one of the spellings are typographical
errors, the remaining one is treated as correct. If it is not clear
spellings are typographical errors, the one that is most consistent with
Recommendation 17B is treated as correct. If it is not clear which
spellings are typographical errors, and it is not clear that one is more
consistent with Recommendation 17B than the others, the one immediately
associated with the designation "new clade name," "converted clade
etc. is treated as correct. If the registered spelling is determined to
be incorrect, it is to be changed in the registration database and a
added stating that the change was made. If the protologue is incorrect,
the registration database is to be annotated to alert users that this is
the case. Such decisions regarding the correct spelling of a name may be
made by any person but must be published (Art. 4) before the
database is corrected or annotated."
... then how is the change to be made? The latter article sub-article
notes that this can happen, but not HOW. "It is to be made" sounds yet
like more red-tape, and less of an automated system. Even further, while
it involves the author, the author is NOT allowed to change it, but the
first use of the name is to be accepted, or that which is attached to the
key phrase "new clade name" or etc.. NO room for error. This last
subarticle (18.4) would seem to be clarifying, yet it disagrees with
previous articles (14.3, 18.1, 18.3) in what action can be taken. Instead,
this needs correction and/or clarification. An appeals system, even, and
not an appeal to the registrar. It's not as if the author will have direct
access to the registry to make the change himself, but someone else is at
How many points have I made as yet?
1) the system is not automated.
2) there IS red-tape involved in doing something as fundamental as
choosing the name and getting it recognized.
3) the registry has more kinks in it than it SHOULD, and thus
complicates the system, not smooths it.
4) *Avgodectes* is still a valid name until a definition is coined and
accepted. Otherwise, PhyloCode is not valid as yet, thus has no say.
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.
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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