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Re: New publication: Notes on Early Mesozoic Theropods by Robert Gay

Dan Chure <danchure@easilink.com> wrote:

> Frankly, my general concern about Lulu and other such self
> publishing venues is that any restraints on nomenclature
> will disappear and taxa will be created willy nilly. 

Yes, this is a HUGE concern.  Especially because advances in technology mean 
that self-publication is now much cheaper than it used to be.  All you need is 
a computer and a printer, and off you go.  

> Anyone,
> regardless of knowledge and abilities, will be able to
> create valid taxa without any restraints. 

Indeed.  When it comes to what constitutes a published work, Article 8 of the 
ICZN Code is so vague and permissive that it is laughably easy to meet the 

> I believe most
> people see that as a serious problem. I agree with Tom
> Williams that  the self-publication can of worms that
> should be shut down by  ICZN.  

There are some who call me... 'Tim'.  ;-)

The ICZN has a vested interest in heading this off at the pass, because a 
proliferation of self-published genera and species is undoubtedly going to lead 
to nomenclatural disputes.  Such disputes regarding priority can only be 
resolved by the ICZN.

Also it is manifestly unfair that a self-published work should trump a 
peer-reviewed paper in a scientific journal.  For example, if two people want 
to erect a new genus for the same species (like _"Dilophosaurus" sinensis_), 
and Person A chooses to self-publish whereas Person B submits the description 
to a scientific journal, then Person A will likely get his/her genus published 
first.  Peer review takes time (usually far too much time...), whereas 
self-publication is entirely at the convenience of the author.  Person A should 
not be penalized because he/she chose a more scientifically rigorous route for