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RE: Rob Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator elysiae
The issue at hand is whether George's taxa are actual taxa, rather than names
that appeared in his own printsheets. To date, regardless of the Gakken works,
_Mesozoic Meanderings_ uses a variety of revisionary nomenclature including
emendations of various *-i* species names to *-orum* or *-arum*, synonymization
arguments, etc. These acts can be followed on the ICZN's principle of first
emendation, if they are regarded as valid nomenclature. This depends on the
document's adherence to the ICZN's requirements for publication _at the time_.
Is this the case? That's still a topic of debate for some.
As noted by Tim, Pickering's works are produced in a fashion that prohibits
access to them, a clear violation of two of the ICZN's requirements for
publication (accessibility, and deposition), and by this reason are regarded by
the majority (if not all but a very small number) of workers. Enough so that
they do not or should not occur in synonymy lists were they regarded and
invalidly published. Despite this, Olshevsky still lists them as nomina nuda,
and Mickey Mortimer still regardless them as nomina dubia. This is important
for the issue of "Walkersaurus hesperis" versus *Duriavenator hesperis* (from
*Megalosaurus hesperis*), in which a later work regarded as legitmate through
adherence to the ICZN names material someone else applied nomenclature to.
I state on Mike Taylor's post at SV-POW! that based on the impressions of this
publication, there are various un- or vaguely-defined issues at hand, from the
definition of "publication" to the meaning of "peer review" in extension to
publication, or even the definition of "journal," which Mike Taylor brings up.
It has been brought up on this list and on VrtPaleo (during AetoGate), that the
meaning of "peer review" itself is undefined, especially in context to
successful publication; the ICZN doesn't care about it, but more-over, the
practice of requiring positive reviews from anonymous or named reviewers or
even the number of reviews required is given wholly to the publication's
criteria -- that is, they are not consistent among works that produce taxonomic
Personally, I had the opportunity to read the Kayentavenator paper for Rob
before his long hiatus occured, and was privy to some of the issues regarding
its suspension. I offered comments, both positive and negative, in regards to
the publication. I am not an expert on anatomy, taxonomy, or of Jurassic
theropods of any sort. My question would be: Am I a reviewer, and if I was, and
my review was negative, _could_ this publication go through?
I wonder if reviews, solicited by editors regardless of anonymity, should be
presented with the publications much like responses are published in _Nature_
and _Science_, which have their own solicited replies. A venus for reviews of
papers, rather than formal papers themselves, would be interesting, but then it
runs aground of the critical opposition issues that I am sure some of you are
very familiar, and very wary of (unless you run your own printing house, have
your own editorial team/set of reviewers).
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion
> Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2010 23:24:52 -0700
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> CC: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Rob Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator elysiae
> Phillip Bigelow wrote:
>> George Olshevsky's book series, "Mesozoic Meanderings" also
>> experienced similar scrutiny by the Zoological scientific
>> community. Interestingly, that scrutiny occurred over
>> a decade ago.
>> I guess these disputes take a lot of time to get resolved.
> Yes, and as Mike and I have said, the proof of the pudding is in whether the
> scientific community actually accepts the new names. There may not be
> unanimity on this point. At least not initially.
> In 1995, when Olshevsky, an amateur, erected several new tyrannosaurid genera
> (_Dinotyrannus_, _Jenghizkhan_, _Stygivenator_) - not in "Mesozoic
> Meanderings" but in a Japanese dinosaur magazine (not a scientific journal) -
> it was highly controversial. Some professional paleontologists were extremely
> irate. Yet, now these names are generally accepted as valid in the
> nomenclatural sense. (But not in the taxonomic sense: all are regarded as
> junior synonyms of other tyrannosaurid genera, so the names have effectively
> disappeared from usage.)
> This lack of agreement happens with other nomenclatural issues. For example,
> although it is recognized that _Jeholornis_ and _Shenzhouraptor_ are probably
> the same taxon, there is disagreement over which name has priority. Because
> both names were validly published, it comes down to which name was published
> first (_Jeholornis_ or _Shenzhouraptor_), which in this particular case is
> not clear-cut. Unless one or the other name takes hold as the 'valid' name
> through usage (I've got my money on _Jeholornis_), then it will require a
> formal petition to the ICZN in order to resolve this issue. It's only when a
> matter is formally brought to the attention of the ICZN that the ICZN will
> act. Until that point, the process is rather messy.
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