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RE: Pickering's nomina nuda (was RE: Rob Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator elysiae



  I've spent some time discussing and arguing on the principles of how this act 
precipitates more necessary caution in the publication process, and the drive 
towards the likelihood of digital publication (Taylor's opinion here is 
actually pretty important). I agree with Taylor, Tim, and Dan on virtually 
everything, save two points:

  1. I have NO opinion regarding the validity of Kayentavenator elysiae, 
because I consider the issue of its publication (which nominally seems to meet 
the ICZN, but has some issues -- resolved when major public libraries like the 
USGS and Congress receive theirs, and the issue of its review status for the 
sanctity of researchers minds, although the ICZN does not require it).

  2. I do not think Lulu.com represents the better stage of digital publication 
for researchers. I would still favor true journalistic effort, but closer to 
the model favored by _PLoS_, _Zootaxa_, _AMNovitates_, etc., with single issue 
publications made available when they meet the requirements of publication, 
which will cut the time from accepted to published out of the wait process. I 
like the idea of the reviewer system I argued too much to give it up right now, 
as it favors a more independent system than is currently viable.

  Some previous ridiculous self-published or poorly-published works that 
attempt to raise taxonomy have been raised, and by far my favorites were the 
slew of papers during the 1850s-1870s describing taxa from Utah and Kansas and 
surrounds during the Bone Wars. There is also Wagner's spurious attempt to 
upset evolutionary thinking by attempting to rename *Archaeopteryx 
lithographica* to *Griphornis problematica,* without any attempt to conceal the 
fact that at the time, people felt they could rename other people's taxa before 
these attempts were quashed in the early 1900s and effectively set aside. But 
they were "the rage," along with unfixated types, species without clear genera, 
or genera without species, etc. We have BEEN through chaos, so it is not 
unreasonable to expect to see more of it, or to think an action like Gay's 
publication will bring about Chaos as if for the first time. Yes, we will get 
nutjobs and loons publishing tripe and garbage, and that's fine ... but they 
won't be recognized taxonomic works, based on the ICZN's narrow reading.

  But also consider: Currently, the PhyloCode contains a provision that 
requires all taxa to be registered, and to do this, the taxa must satisfy (at 
their naming) certain criteria including peer-review. Since it is almost 
certainly undoubted that Pickering's works are NOT peer-reviewed (i.e., from 
specialists in paleontology where he would attempt to name taxa from), they can 
be simply ignored as unsatisfactory by both ICZN and PhyloCode and whatever 
other registration system might arise (ZooBank, etc.). As there was no attempt 
to place these works in a way that they can be utilized by the community, they 
are nonexistent within it, and the PhyloCode's peer-review and the ICZN's 
publication requirements can simply be tightened to prevent this from occuring.

Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"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 
Backs)





----------------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 20:46:14 -0700
> From: tijawi@yahoo.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> CC: tijawi@yahoo.com
> Subject: RE: Pickering's nomina nuda (was RE: Rob Gay's print-on-demand 
> publication of Kayentavenator elysiae
>
>
> This issue over whether Lulu Press qualifies as a valid venue for the 
> publication of new names has now taken on an element of urgency. As of a few 
> days ago, Stephan Pickering has announced that he is intending to use Lulu 
> Press as a way of disseminating his own "dinosaurological scholarship" (his 
> words, not mine).
>
> The can of worms is well and truly open. I know Rob Gay meant well, and his 
> work is of a fairly high standard (scientifically speaking). But I fear that 
> publications like his will be the exception. There are nutters out there who 
> will interpret tacit acceptance of on-line self-publication as _cart 
> blanche_. As Mike Tyalor presciently wrote:
>
> "If anything, it’s surprising that we don’t see a lot more rogue
> taxonomy than we do, especially in a field as charismatic as
> dinosaur palaeontology. [snip] I think we’re deluding ourselves if
> we think this isn’t coming to dinosaur palaeo."
>
> Well, it's just around the corner. So unless anybody out there wants to see 
> dinosaur paleontology polluted with a flood of nonsensical new dinosaur 
> names, courtesy of the fevered imagination of Stephan Pickering, then this 
> issue needs to be resolved.
>
> I for one am not looking forward to tortuous discussions about whether 
> "Tyrannosaurus stanwinstonorum" and "Ceratosaurus willisobrienorum" and 
> "Velociraptor barbrastreisandorum" are valid species or not - all because the 
> illustrious Mr Pickering has decided to name and describe these 'species' via 
> Lulu Press. Such examples, which might once have been _reductiones ad 
> absurdum_, are on the verge of becoming reality.
>
>
>
>
> Cheers
>
> Tim
>
>
>
> --- On Thu, 10/6/10, Jaime Headden  wrote:
>
>> From: Jaime Headden 
>> Subject: RE: Pickering's nomina nuda (was RE: Rob Gay's print-on-demand 
>> publication of Kayentavenator elysiae
>> To: "Dan Chure" , Dinosaur.Mailing.List@listproc.usc.edu
>> Received: Thursday, 10 June, 2010, 9:29 PM
>>
>> Because unlike dissertations, self-publishing and online
>>
> he public to view.
>> They are not restricted on their readership like some tracts
>> and pamphlets are. Self-publication is as legitimate a form
>> of publication as newsprint, and we do not debate the role
>> such works have as information trasnsmitters. Those who
>> self-publish digitally have as much capability to distribute
>> via word of mouth or press-release as any agency does, or
>> through mailing lists where their colleagues or interested
>> workers can participate. Once again, the thing that
>> separates such things is the process of review and editing
>> -- we merely need to adapt the conventions of separate
>> journals, institutions, and organizations like the AAAS and
>> Palaeontological Society to develop reviewers and editors.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Jaime A. Headden
>> The Bite Stuff (site v2)
>> http://qilong.wordpress.com/
>>
>> "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 Backs)
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------
>>> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 20:06:02 -0600
>>> From: danchure@easilink.com
>>> To: qi_leong@hotmail.com
>>> CC: mike@indexdata.com;
>> dinosaur@usc.edu
>>> Subject: Re: Pickering's nomina nuda (was RE: Rob
>> Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator elysiae
>>>
>>> Actually, I agree with the decision that dissertations
>> are not valid
>>> outlets for nomenclatorial actions. Those should go
>> through the regular
>>> peer review process and be published in the
>> appropriate journal. My
>>> point was that if dissertations are not a valid venue
>> then how in the
>>> hell can self publication via Lulu Press or other
>> similar outlets even
>>> be debated as acceptable.
>>>
>>> Dan
>>>
>>> Jaime Headden wrote:
>>>> So, a question arises:
>>>>
>>>> If dissertat
> ons of any stripe are considered
>> legitimate publications, why? Are they works intended for
>> the purpose of a public record? Many institutions at least
>> restrict access or embargo their student's dissertations at
>> all levels, making their contents "secret." This violates
>> the idea of public availability, and would remove those
>> institutions' dissertations from the list of acceptable
>> publications, even though they _are_ publications in
>> previously defined definitions of the term.
>>>>
>>>> If a dissertation is meant to be preliminary, but
>> produces terminology that can otherwise compete for priority
>> or usage, such as geologic or taxonomic nomenclature (that
>> it produces this nomenclature in keeping with the ICZN, for
>> example, or the IUGS), can it be permitted if the author
>> indicates that he would otherwise publish this work?
>>>>
>>>> Can we retroactively consider dissertations to be
>> published for the purposes of nomenclature or discussion,
>> even when they are cites for the latter but not the former
>> today, or are we restricted to dissertations only produced
>> after the point at which they are considered viable?
>>>>
>>>> If a dissertation is peer-reviewed, does it go
>> through the same anonymous review a paper in _Nature_ or
>> _Palaeontology_ does, or is its review restricted to a panel
>> hearing the oral presentation (if present), the review
>> committee, and the acknowledged draft reviewers before the
>> fact? Is this type of anonymous review required if the
>> dissertation is meant only to be preliminary?
>>>>
>>>> Some, if not most, institutions in Europe hold
>> their student's these and dissertations from the public,
>> while those in the US are publically deposited and can be
>> acquired at personal cost from a storage facility. Are only
>> US dissertations available for the purpose of nomenclature,
>> or can we just make this international and force the
>> institutions of other countries to follow suit? Do we have
>> the right of it, or they?
>>>>
>>>> These are all issues that plague dissertat
> ational nomenclature is not
>> considered viable for the purposes of the ICZN. I am willing
>> to be corrected on this, if I've gotten anything here wrong.
>> Note that I am not arguing that dissertations _should_ be
>> excluded, but as it stands, some of them are treated
>> differently than others, based on their home institutions or
>> country's rules and laws.
>>>>
>>>> Cheers,
>>>>
>>>> Jaime A. Headden
>>>> The Bite Stuff (site v2)
>>>> http://qilong.wordpress.com/
>>>>
>>>> "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 Backs)
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ----------------------------------------
>>>>
>>>>> From: mike@indexdata.com
>>>>> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 13:16:05 +0100
>>>>> Subject: Re: Pickering's nomina nuda (was RE:
>> Rob Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator
>> elysiae
>>>>> To: danchure@easilink.com
>>>>> CC: qi_leong@hotmail.com;
>> tijawi@yahoo.com;
>> dinosaur@usc.edu
>>>>>
>>>>> On 10 June 2010 13:07, Dan Chure wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> I find it somewhat ironic that names in a
>> dissertation which have gone
>>>>>> through the peer review of a committee and
>> a copy of which can be obtained
>>>>>> either by purchase or sometimes free from
>> either Dissertations International
>>>>>> or the degree awarding institution are not
>> considered published in an
>>>>>> acceptable publication. but those self
>> published through Lulu Press are.
>>>>>>
>>>>> What he said.
>>>>>
>>>>> The non-"published" status of a freely
>> available dissertation is a
>>>>> complete nonsense.
>>>>>
>>>>> It'll be first up against the wall when the
>> revolution comes.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Dan
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Jaime Headden wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I tend to regard nomina nuda as
>> val
> ise satisfy the ICZN's
>> requirements for publication as nomina
>>>>>>> valida. That is, were *Quetzalcoatlus
>> northropi* published without a
>>>>>>> concurrent description or photo, but
>> in a legitimate venue, it would be a
>>>>>>> nomen nudum. The same cannot be said
>> of Pickering's taxa, since the ICZN
>>>>>>> specifically indicates that the lack
>> of satisfaction for two of its
>>>>>>> requirements means that names he
>> produced aren't even recognized nomina of
>>>>>>> any sort. While both Mortimer and
>> Olshevsky regard these taxa as nomina
>>>>>>> nuda, I don't regard them as nomina at
>> all. And not to rag on Mortimer and
>>>>>>> Olshevsky too much, but there are
>> names that are effectively _nicknames_ of
>>>>>>> specimens that are used as nomina
>> nuda, and the latter even argues for
>>>>>>> dissertation-produced names for being
>> nomina, nuda or otherwise, despite the
>>>>>>> ICZN restricting dissertations from
>> the list of acceptable publications.
>>>>>>> So there are really three levels to
>> this:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 1. Published terminology that roughly
>> corresponds to a label for
>>>>>>> something, be it a clade or a
>> specimen, used as taxonomy. These are not
>>>>>>> nomina of any sort.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 2. Published terminology that meets
>> some but not all of the ICZN's
>>>>>>> requirements. These are nomina nuda or
>> nomina vana, depending on the usage.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 3. Published terminology that meets
>> all of the ICZN's requirements. These
>>>>>>> are nomina valida (unless set aside
>> for formal reasons -- rejecta -- or
>>>>>>> forgotten through disuse or disregard
>> -- oblita).
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> A fourth category, should we feel
>> inclined, lies between 1 and 2 (call it
>>>>>>> 1.5) which corresponds to _lapsus
>> calami_, and are not considered nomina
>>>>>>> nuda or anything, and cannot compete
>> for priority or be useful for elevation
>>>>>>> of status, without special action in
>> cases where two names are potential
>>>>>>> lapses for one another.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Jaim
> en
>>>>>>> The Bite Stuff (site v2)
>>>>>>> http://qilong.wordpress.com/
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> "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 Backs)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>> ----------------------------------------
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 16:54:41
>> -0700
>>>>>>>> From: tijawi@yahoo.com
>>>>>>>> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>>>>>>>> CC: tijawi@yahoo.com
>>>>>>>> Subject: Pickering's nomina nuda
>> (was RE: Rob Gay's print-on-demand
>>>>>>>> publication of Kayentavenator
>> elysiae
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Jaime Headden wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I really didn't think that
>> *anyone* accepts Pickering's proposed new
>>>>>>>> genera ("Walkersaurus") and
>> species ("Elaphrosaurus philtippetensis",
>>>>>>>> "Tyrannosaurus stanwinstonorum",
>> etc) as valid. Even George Olshevsky, who
>>>>>>>> has erected several dinosaurs
>> names via self-publication, regards
>>>>>>>> Pickering's names as nomina nuda
>> (e.g., see
>>>>>>>> http://www.polychora.com/dinolist.html).
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Pickering's self-published 'works'
>> typically take the form of paranoid
>>>>>>>> rants that cover a wide range of
>> topics, from national socialism to Sigmund
>>>>>>>> Freud to King King; the new
>> dinosaur names are inserted as a kind of
>>>>>>>> aft
> -indulgent quality of
>>>>>>>> his works, nor the fact that the
>> works were self-published, are the reasons
>>>>>>>> why Pickering's names are
>> universally held to be nomina nuda. As Jaime says,
>>>>>>>> it is because Pickering made no
>> attempt to establish a permanent scientific
>>>>>>>> record. It appears that his
>> 'works' (newsletters) were sent unsolicited to
>>>>>>>> various paleontologists (and
>> others, such as Steven Spielberg), and
>>>>>>>> therefore qualify only as private
>> correspondence.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Thus, when Roger Benson erected
>> the new genus _Duriavenator_ for
>>>>>>>> _Megalosaurus hesperis_, the fact
>> that Pickering had previously named the
>>>>>>>> same species "Walkersaurus" had no
>> impact at all on priority, because
>>>>>>>> "Walkersaurus" was a nomen nudum.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Nevertheless, it is a frightening
>> thought that if Pickering had bothered
>>>>>>>> to deposit his 'works', and made
>> them accessible, that we might have been
>>>>>>>> stuck with all his horrible
>> monikers ("Elaphrosaurus philtippetensis", and
>>>>>>>> so on). Then again, the more
>> likely outcome is that subsequent workers would
>>>>>>>> have ignored his plethora of names
>> in their own publications - w
>>>>>>>> o have happened anyway.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Cheers
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Tim
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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