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Re: Publication and the Code

On 7 October 2010 00:14, Dan Chure <danchure@easilink.com> wrote:
>  I am reposting this because it might easily have been missed in a flurry of
> posts about an Allosaurus specimen for sale.  However, this is of much
> broader import that the Allosaurus specimen.
> Tom Holtz posted this link:
> http://dinosauriainternational.com/downloads/Amphicoelias.pdf

This paper proposes an extraordinary hypothesis -- that ALL Morrison
diplodocoids are congeneric -- and that requires extraordinary
evidence.  But because the alleged evidence is all in privately owned
specimens, it can't be verified.  In effect, there is no verifiable
evidence for the hypothesis.  Add to this that the paper is privately
published, that it was not peer-reviewed, and that it suffers from
mechanical errors that do not speak well of its authors' competence
(such as a bibliography consisting mostly of papers that are never
cited), I think the best thing we can do is just ignore it.  When the
specimens in question reside in a properly curated, publicly
accessible collection, and are published on in a peer-reviewed paper
in respected venue, then we'll be in a position to judge what the
taxonomic consequences, if any, of the new specimens are.

(This is a shame, since the material is sensational and there are
plenty of gorgeous photographs in the paper.)

-- Mike.

> This paper might be of concern because this is a privately published
>  monograph, published by a commercial entity digging and selling fossils,
> creates a new taxon that synonymizes a number of long recognized distinct
> sauropod genera into it, and the "new" species' skeletons may be up for sale
> in the future.  The issue of self publication of new taxa is occurring with
> some regularity in the dinosaurian arena of paleontology, but could impact
> any aspect of VP.  Some think the ICZN is quite out of date on the self
> publication issue and have handed down some faulty decisions about it in
> disciplines other than VP.  Others think that this is okay and will just
> sort itself out. I am not of the latter opinion.  Nevertheless, I thought
> that it would be useful for members of these list to be aware of this
> publication and its implications.
> Dan