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Re: Questions regarding advance online publications
Exceedingly useful, thank you. (And thanks to David M., as well.)
Hope this was at least partially useful,
----- Original Message -----
To: "Rob Taylor" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2009 11:08 PM
Subject: Re: Questions regarding advance online publications
I'm growing a bit confused regarding the status of taxonomic names that
appear in advance online publications, and am hoping for a > little help.
My understanding of the ICZN code is less than stellar, but I was under
the impression that a name essentially remains > a nomen nudum until it
appears in print - perhaps with a few rare exceptions. (I do seem to
recall hearing that the ICZN was > considering changes to the code
to deal with online publication issues, but a quick visit to their site
did not seem to produce any > evidence that changes have been made as
yet.) Quite possibly I'm wrong, but I'm getting the distinct impression
that there may be a > movement afoot to go with the year of the online
pub as the year of official publication, when it varies from the print
You are quite correct that advance online names are currently _not_ valid
until they appear on actual paper. There are proposals currently under
consideration that could change this for at least some advance onliners
(depending on how they're managed) - a copy of the proposals is at
http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2008/f/zt01908p067.pdf, I made a commentary
on some of them at
However, these proposals have not yet been ratified, and are unlikely to
be retroactive when they are (the ICZN doesn't normally make new rules
retroactive so that they don't mess with already-established priorities).
A proposal has been made to accept DOI registration date as the
publication date (http://cactus.dixie.edu/jharris/ICZN_and_DOIs.pdf), but
again, this has not yet been ratified. Currently, paper is still the
For genera such as Malarguesaurus and Skorpiovenator (two examples that
come to mind for names published online in 2008, but not in > print until
2009), which should be cited as the year the genus was authored?
2009 is the correct date.
In the event that two papers erect different names for the same material,
and one appeared in print in between the online and print > versions of
the other, which name would have priority?
Aaaaargh, it's _Scansoriepidendrosauropteryx_! Currently, the name that
appeared in print would have priority, not the name that appeared online
first. Jerry Harris' DOI proposal (above) would change this if it passes.
Are taxonomic names published in "online only" journals like PLoS one and
Palaeontologia Electronica largely accepted by the > scientific
community as being valid, despite the current language of the code?
While the Code currently doesn't accept online publications _per se_, it
does accept electronic publications for which hard copies on CD have been
lodged in at least five separate publicly available libraries. The
publications have to include details of where the permanent copies have
been deposited. The date of publication (if there's a conflict) is the
date the hard copies were deposited, not the date the electronic copy
appeared online. I believe taxonomic publications in PLoS have met the
requirements for validity, I wouldn't know about Palaeontologia
Electronica. Note that the current proposals would remove CD publication
in favour of permanent online archiving.