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



"I can say that most of them are at least on par with Gay's Kayentavenator paper........are professionally done." The crucial point here is not how they are "done", but that they are not acceptably published. The code doesn't address the quality of the papers, only the mechanism to assure that they are acceptably published. The scientific community deals with the issues of validity of taxa through subsequent research, revision, etc.

"I'm especially concerned by Chure's proposal to ignore nomenclature in formats he doesn't find official enough, regardless of what the ICZN says." I suppose my suggestion is a wee bit radical, but read some of Hoser's absurd and useless work on rattlesnake systematics published in his personal journal. It is a fine example of the chaos to come. As I posted earlier, it will be the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of taxonomy, with the same outcome.

Dan

Michael Mortimer wrote:
I don't think this is quite fair. Being one of the few people to actually see Pickering's papers, I can say that most of them are at least on par with Gay's Kayentavenator paper. Sure the King Kong / Jurassic Park one is quite problematic in content, but the Archosauromorpha: Cladistics and Osteologies ones (describing Dilophosaurus "breedorum" and such) are professionally done. They feature correct anatomical terminology, unlike Gay's work (greater trochanter "fused" to femoral head; "distal dorsal" vertebrae), and read like one of Welles' published papers as opposed to a school report. I'm certainly aware of the problems with Pickering, but remember most of his taxa are based on Welles' and Powell's research. As an example, Ceratosaurus "willisobrienorum" was later described by Madsen using Welles' research, based on the writing similarity to Welles' Dilophosaurus description. But Madsen clogged up taxonomy even more than Pickering would, because he described what Welles and Pickering considered one species as two- C. magnicornis and C. dentisulcatus. And these species are as poorly diagnosed as Kayentavenator or anything Pickering has named. But I haven't heard any complaints about Madsen and Welles' paper, even though it's the exact thing that Pickering wants to do and identical in quality. So why the emphasis on stopping Pickering (besides personal disputes)? Furthermore, what about all the papers that are worse than Pickering's or Gay's? Take any of Malkani's taxa for instance (Vitakridrinda, Brohisaurus, Balochisaurus, Khetranisaurus, Marisaurus, Pakisaurus, Sulaimanisaurus). These are based on near certainly (and sometimes even admittedly!) indeterminate fragments, which more than one paleontologist has said look like rocks. But at least they're in official journals. Because that's what counts, right? There are SO MANY papers published in accepted journals that contain statements or conclusions that anyone knowledgable in the field of study would call bullshit on, so why does it even matter that they're not self published? We definitely have a problem with shoddy work getting published, but banning self publication isn't the solution. I'm especially concerned by Chure's proposal to ignore nomenclature in formats he doesn't find official enough, regardles of what the ICZN says. Sure you may be fine with ignoring Tyrannosaurus "stanwinstonorum" if it's ever ICZN-official, but why stop there? I for one think the description of Dandakosaurus is a pile of crap that wouldn't pass review by any competant dinosaur expert living since 1910. So quality-wise, it's basically self published as there was no peer review to speak of. Am I thus free to ignore it and describe the specimen myself with a different name? I don't think so. Mickey Mortimer

----------------------------------------
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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