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Re: New publication: Notes on Early Mesozoic Theropods by Robert Gay
It was my oversight that I did not list the repositories as "5 major
publicly accessible libraries" but the institutions named in both the
_Kayentavenator_ paper and the _Coelophysis_ paper have been sent copies
of the volume - UCMP, MNA, NMMNH, Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology at
Ghost Ranch, and AMNH. ICZN 8.6 does not state that the institutions
have to be explicitly stated as major repositories. It just says that
the works have to be deposited in major libraries, and that the
institutions are identified by name. I probably could have worded that
better in the introduction and explicitly stated "these are the
permanent repositories that have copies deposited at their locations: X,
Y, and Z." I didn't - but I did state that the works were on record at
the "relevant institutions" and in the papers I name the relevant
institutions by their full names. Furthermore, it appears to me that 8.6
only applies if this was solely a digital document. Notes of Mesozoic
Theropods is a physical paper document. You can download copies, but the
method of printing employs printing on paper. And anyway, like I said,
the works have been deposited anyway. Glancing at the closest post-1999
paper to me, the Colbert and Olsen _Hypuronector_ paper from 2001, I
note that nowhere in their publication does it list 5 institutions, and
does not mention that a copy of their paper has been deposited anywhere.
I think that this is attracting attention because these papers weren't
published in the popular journals. That doesn't meant that they weren't
peer-reviewed. The _Coelophysis_ paper was accepted for publication in a
volume, but the editor lost the figures right before publication. The
_Kayentavenator_ paper was submitted to JVP and returned with revisions.
Both events (loss of figures and returning of revisions) occurred when I
had a sudden change in my job situation and basically had no access to a
computer for three years. I felt it would not be reasonable to expect,
after three years, an addendum to come out with my _Coelophysis_ paper,
and returning revisions to reviewers after three years of hearing
nothing from me struck me as rude. The _Coelophysis_ paper, having
already been accepted, was published here in its as-accepted form. I
took the reviewers' comments for the _Kayentavenator_ paper and
incorporated them into the final version. Due to the unusual set of
circumstances that had developed during that time in my life, I felt
that this was the best way to proceed with these two papers. Is this
something that I plan on doing in the future? No. Not at all. That's
because I'm not going to have a couple peer-reviewed but unpublished
papers sitting around in my files. But is ICZN 8.1.1 met? Yes. The whole
idea is to provide a public, permanent record. Is ICZN 8.1.2 met? Yes.
Anyone can get a copy. If people want PDFs of the individual papers and
don't want the whole volume, they can e-mail me even. But even if I was
dead, people could still get copies of the papers. Is ICZN 8.1.3 met?
Yes. Numerous durable and identical copies have already been produced
and sent to the relevant institutions, and more can be had by anyone -
copies can be produced forever, for all practical purposes. That strikes
me as numerous, and the paper copies are certainly durable. Downloads
can be durable too, if the storage media is properly cared for. Is ICZN
8.6 met? Doesn't matter, since it is a paper printing, but even if you
think that a physical book is not a paper copy, as I mentioned above,
8.6 is still met.
Dan is rightly concerned about people making an end run around peer
review (while I was writing the above) and seems to imply that my papers
were trash and rejected, but I went ahead and published them anyway in
order to pull a fast one on everyone. Once again, I suggest going over
what I just wrote. The _Kayentavenator_ paper was sent back to me with
revisions. I included those revisions in the final published paper. Just
like every other thing that I have published, both papers were peer
reviewed. Although I have been quite on the list for some time (in fact,
I was unsubscribed for a while, due to the lack of computer access I
mention above), I'd like to remind people that this isn't the first
thing I've written - I know how peer review works, I know how the
publication process works. This just happens to be the only time
anything was (or will ever be) not published by an outside publisher.
Dan also wrote:
>I'm not sure why this is would not be considered an electronic
publication. You can order it as a pdf or print copy in any one of
several page sizes (8x10, 6x9). Self publishing pay for print on demand
seems to me to be an electronic activity.<
Well, all publication activity is really electronic these days. When is
the last time you typed something on a typewriter to submit it, got the
reviews back, had to retype the whole thing on your typewriter, and the
final volume was printed with movable-block print and not an electronic
printer? Saying that you can order it online makes it an electronic
activity would make anything available on Amazon primarily an electronic
activity. The primary mode of publication is a physical book on paper. I
dunno, maybe getting rid of the download option would make that more
Tim Williams mentions (while I was typing all of the above - I guess
this is all pretty interesting for people!) that self-publishing is a
can of worms. He wrote:
>However, returning to Kayentavenator, if somebody attaches a different
name to the same type specimen, and Rob Gay asserts his name to be
valid, then it will be an issue for the ICZN to decide. Until then, it
will be up to paleontologists to decide for themselves whether or not to
acknowledge Kayentavenator as a valid genus.<
How would it not be valid, since all the ICZN rules have been met? Now
if my work was junk and it turned out the material was nondiagnostic
(which I obviously disagree with), then maybe, but the ICZN rules have
been met, and as long as someone doesn't make it a junior synonym of
something else I don't see how it could be considered anything other
than valid. The ICZN rules might be imperfect, but they are what they
are and the rules have been met.
I'll say this again, clearly, with no ambiguity. My intention was not to
end-run science. The papers were peer reviewed. The ICZN rules were met.
I felt this was the best way, with today's changing technology, to get
this research out there quickly to help create a publicly accessible
record and expand the body of knowledge of early North American
theropods. If you think my conclusions suck, that's fine, we can debate
that - since the data is now out there, you (the collective You) can
look at my data, my analysis, and my conclusions and draw your own. Why
was my introduction so brief (and some said ambiguous?) in the volume?
Because I didn't want to have 5 pages of introduction to a short volume.
I could have typed up everything I just did here and put that in front
of the papers, but I had assumed that one page would answer questions
and set people at ease. Obviously I missed that guess.
Anyone want to talk about the papers themselves? Or since it was
published by Lulu they shouldn't be looked at except as kindling?
According to the ICZN:
8.1. Criteria to be met. A work must satisfy the following criteria:
8.1.1. it must be issued for the purpose of providing a public and
permanent scientific record,
8.1.2. it must be obtainable, when first issued, free of charge or by
8.1.3. it must have been produced in an edition containing
simultaneously obtainable copies by a method that assures numerous
identical and durable copies.
8.6. Works produced after 1999 by a method that does not employ
printing on paper. For a work produced after 1999 by a method other
than printing on paper to be accepted as published within the meaning
of the Code, it must contain a statement that copies (in the form in
which it is published) have been deposited in at least 5 major
publicly accessible libraries which are identified by name in the work
From Gay, R. 2010.
"Those that are concerned about the naming of a new genus in this
format should not be. The availability and distribution requirements
are more than met—the relevant institutions have received a copy for
their records. In addition "Notes on Early Mesozoic Theropods" will
remain available to all who wish to purchase it online, as well as
those stores that chose to carry it, for the foreseeable future—far
surpassing the availability of many other high profile publications to
those anywhere on the globe."
According to this 8.1.1, 8.1.2, and 8.1.3 are all fulfilled. The only
criterion not fulfilled is 8.6, and its due to a very minor
technicality; nowhere in this work are the "5 major publicly
accessible libraries" where the hard copies are deposited named. I
don't think that on-demand self publishing necessarily violates 8.1.3,
on some contitions it might be, but a publication service such as Lulu
ensures that multiple individuals can order and obtain "numerous
identical and durable copies" at the same time.
On 5/6/10 18:49, Dan Chure wrote:
I have checked the website and Lulu clearly describes itself as a
"Self Publishing" business and one that publishes on demand. So it
would appear that Kayentavenatoir is not a valid taxon.
Brad McFeeters wrote:
I'm not sure if Rob is a member of this list, but the book seems to
have been published for a few days now, so I'll go ahead and share
Summary: Notes on Early Mesozoic Theropods contains two papers on
the poorly studied late Triassic and early Jurassic theropod
dinosaur fauna of North America.
The author discusses the evidence that has been used to support
cannibalism hypothesis in the late Triassic dinosaur Coelophysis,
and presents new evidence that disproves this commonly cited
In the second paper, the author names a new genus and species of
theropod dinosaur from the early Jurassic Kayenta Formation of
Arizona. The new taxon represents the oldest yet-known example of a
Tetanuran theropod in North America.
For those interested in the paleontological history of the American
southwest or the early evolutionary history of this interesting
dinosaurs, Notes on Early Mesozoic Theropods adds more information
to the emerging picture of life in the southwest over 190 million
The new theropod is named _Kayentavenator elysiae_.
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