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Re: Gigantspinosaurus: a legit name

Jerry Harris wrote:

I don't think that's an adequate criterion -- there are other "abstract" volumes that contain lengthier papers (some just "extended abstracts; others bona fide papers), but I think the question comes down to "What differentiates an abstract from a short paper?" That is, what
criteria must a paper have that an abstract must lack? (Not saying I have an answer, but just
because a title contains the word "abstract" doesn't automatically make all contents thereof "abstracts.")

I agree. But I wasn't talking about whether or not Ouyang (1992) is an abstract or not - sorry for not making that clearer in my previous message. There are two separate issues here...

In this particular situation, it doesn't matter if Ouyang (1992) is an abstract or a short paper. Clause 9.9 of Article 9 does more than just single out abstracts. It also talks about whether the publication was "issued primarily to participants at meetings, symposia, colloquia or congresses." This is also a no-no.

So the question may not come down to "What differentiates an abstract from a short paper?", since I think we can agree that Ouyang (1992) is a short paper. The relevant question here is "Was the volume containing this paper issued primarily or solely to participants of the Youth Academic Symposium?" If it was, then the description of _Gigantspinosaurus_ does not meet ICZN standards.

The problem is, this kind of information could be tricky to pin down. How do you determine who got the Symposium volume, and how they got it? If one had the time and inclination, one could perhaps contact the "Chinese Science Association" and ask them if this publication was only available to Symposium participants. Considering the volume was published 15 years ago, this could be a wild goose chase.

If the volume was only issued to participants/attendees of the Symposium, then _Gigantspinosaurus_ is a nomen nudum. Doesn't matter if it's an astract or a bona fide paper.

Yeah, but it's not MUCH more than an abstract...

In the case of Ouyang (1992), this is potentially less important than the issue of whether or not the volume containing the _Gigantspinosaurus_ description was actually issued to anyone other than attendees of this "Youth Academic Symposium". This provision of Article 9 is more explicit than the stuff about "wide dissemination" and "accessibility" that appear elsewhere in the Code.

Sadly, the ICZN didn't bother to define "wide" or "accessibility" (not that it would be an easy thing to do!).

Too right! But, given that these are just Recommendations, they don't have any teeth. Plus, as you say, such terms are as "wide" and "accessibility" are entirely relative - and utterly non-quantifiable.

Believe me, I share your frustration at how difficult it is to get a hold of some things

In this case, it's more a sense of bewilderment that this paper stayed under the radar for so long.



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