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Re: Darwin's young dead pet from Messel

Roberto Takata writes:
 > On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 7:42 PM, Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com> wrote:
 > > Nope -- PLoS ONE does not print hard copies.  (Perhaps one or more of
 > > the other PLoS journals does?)
 > PLoS One articles could be printed on demand.

Wouldn't help, unfortunately --- the ICZN rules explicitly exclude
print-on-demand as valid publishing for nomenclatural purposes.
Article 8 ("What constitutes published work"), section 8.1.3 says of a
published work that "it must have been produced in an edition
containing simultaneously obtainable copies by a method that assures
numerous identical and durable copies."  See

 > I wonder what happens when all original printed copies be lost...

Nothing -- the name remains.  It is one of the oddities of the code
that once you've printed your "numerous identical and durable copies"
and made them available, it doesn't matter what happens to them.  If I
wish, I can self-publish on sheets of industrial diamond bound in
snow-leopard foreskins and sell offer each copy for sale at $100,000.
Doesn't matter if I don't sell a single copy.  Or I could run them all
off on my printer, make them available at zero cost, you could order
all fifty copies and burn them when they arrive.  The name would still
be available.

Which isn't surprising, really -- the Code can't realistically
anticipate all possible outcomes for a published work.  The best it
can do is lay out the principles and expect, or at least hope, that
people will adhere to their spirit and not just their letter.

Augusto Haro writes:
 > Well, it seems that the editors of Plos ONE should print copies of
 > the papers on Aerosteon, Panphagia and Maiacetus, and apparently
 > also of those ugly ants, to make them valid and avoid this problem
 > [...]

The ant paper is OK: the authors themselves, IIRC, made the necessary
deposition arrangements, and included a statement to that effect in
the paper itself.  I think you're right on Aerosteon, Panphagia and
Maiacetus, though.  And maybe you can throw Miragaia into the same
pot: it was published online in Proc. B, and doesn't seem to have been
subsequently included in a printed volume (though I'd be delighted to
be wrong about that.)

 > [...], before someone else tries to occupy these names or rename
 > the specimens (although of course, this someone will suffer the
 > consequences).

Yeah.  As we know from past experience, the SVP Ethics Committee would
come down on them like a ton of ... feathers.  <rim-shot>

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "``Kathy'', I said, ``I'm lost'', though I knew she was sleeping;
         ``I'm empty and aching and I don't know why''" -- Paul Simon,