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Date of publication

Not that this is news to anyone, but date of publication can be a can of
worms!  I don't know about paleontology journals, but there are fields where
some publications are NOTORIOUS for appearing years later than their cover
dates: "Logique et Analyse" in logic and "Extra 2200 South" in railroad
history come to mind.  This notoriety, however, tends to be a matter of word
of mouth and laughing among friends, and may not always be recorded in
print.  What happens in a few decades when people have forgotten that "oh,
yes, the editor of the Journal of XYZ had a stroke and the next issue wasn't
published until..."?  Does "due diligence" for researchers in XYZ-ology
include going to their librarian and asking whether the library's file-card
recording when issues actually arrived has been preserved?  (I actually have
a footnote in my C.V. explaining the the dates of articles I published in
some journals!)

Allen Hazen
University of Melbourne
William Parker quoted:
Chapter 5, Date of Publication, in the International Code of Zoological
Nomenclature deals with this.

The name is valid for the year in which the name is published in accordance
to Article 7 of the ICZN and not necessarily by the date printed in the
publication.  If the printed date is determined to be incorrect then the
earliest date that the paper is demonstrated to be is existance (as a
published work) is adopted.  Recommendations in the code suggest that if
the author is aware of this difference in date he or she should publish a