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Re: Advances in Vertebrate Paleontology "Hen to Panta"

David Marjanovic (david.marjanovic@gmx.at) wrote:

<Let's cook up a hypothetical, exaggerated example. What if some malicious
editor had inserted a c into *Fukuiraptor* or *Fukuisaurus*, in order to
put eternal shame on the authors? What if he wouldn't have missed an
occurrence of the name, so that the spelling with c would be the only one
occurring in the paper? Would we really have to consider it valid? I think
  The editor in the real example was certainly not malicious. But the
principle stands -- Currie et al. are not the authors of the spelling with
h. We have an "inadvertent or printing error" here, and it must be
rectified; a First Revision is not supposed to occur.>

  This still does not prove the case of an editor's error. It is entirely
possible this was done accidentally in the transcription to the editor's
table, before he got his hands on it. Can't prove it, but no one can prove
it didn't happen, in which case any hyberbolous editorial "villainy" or
"accident" doesn't matter. If there were inconsistence spellings THROUGH
OUT the paper, yeah, one can make a case for that. But the transcription
went from paper to editor's desk, drafts, revisions, proofs, and final
plates, ALL without the "error" being noted. Yet David (and George) would
have us beleive that the editor did this, so we can excuse it and pass for
any other name?

  Therein lies the ambiguity, and it is for THIS very reason that the
First Revisor rule was instituted. And enacted in this case. It may have
been the name that Sloan would later indicate to George in George's words
as being "wrong" AFTER George listed the names with synonymy, but by then
there was NO way to prove editorial mistakes unless the editor him/herself
provided a statement attesting to such an act or oversight; even then, an
oversight is not a valid criterion for correction. Maybe it works
differently in Austria, but not here. Now that a first revision occured,
no matter WHAT error can be assumed to have occured, the ONLY way to
change the name is an appeal to the ICZN ... but since everyone else
appears to be using the name with an "h" in it, this would become
disruptive to the literature (a point made elsewhere, and more than once).
I do recall George saying that he would draft an appeal, but this has been
over 2 years ago, and nothing has come from it. A request of clarification
to Rigby resulted in a redirect to Currie, which has gone unanswered to
date. Both Sloan and Rigby are resigned to the "h" to my knowledge, and
tearing this dead horse isn't helping anything, even pretending "editorial
mistakes" to find loopholes.

<I thought everyone, including the authors, agreed it was the editor?>

  No, they said they turned the name over with what they thought was the
"h"-less name, and it ended up otherwise. The assumption from George and
David has been editorial. Editorial issues were ONLY raised a few years
ago. It would still be an assumption, and not _proof_, even IF the authors
could say it was the editors. In an American case of law, for example, you
have to show acts that are NEGLIGIBLE on the part of the editor to prove
he did something wrong, and that has NOT been established.

<AFAIK Currie et al. still have the opportunity to publish a correction
like Fraser et al. did for *Agnosphitys*
(http://dml.cmnh.org/2002Feb/msg00309.html) -- while Olshevsky never
actually had one.>

  As I explained, George assumed the one inconsistent name was in error,
out almost ten uses of the "h" name. That is a sufficient case for


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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