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Re: Publication and the Code
Dan Chure <email@example.com> wrote:
> 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.
It also declares _Apatosaurus ajax_ a nomen dubium. I suspected somebody would
do this one day; but I thought it would appear in a reputable scientific work.
As Mike Taylor says, the "Amphicoelias brontodiplodocus" specimen is gorgeous.
But the monograph (or is it a brochure?) is of poor quality scientifically. It
reminds me of the "Dinosaur Museum Journal" from several years ago.
> 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 Some think the ICZN is quite out of date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.
Nor am I. When it comes to self-publication, the ICZN is asleep at the wheel.
This is unfortunate, because self-publication offers a 'backdoor' route to the
naming of new genera and species that is ripe for abuse, and the ICZN seems
content to wave them through.
If it came to a case before the ICZN, then there is no reason why ICZN would
not accept "Amphicoelias brontodiplodocus" as a nomenclaturally valid name.
After all, it ticks all the right boxes in the Code. This is not an
endorsement of the publication, BTW; it's just that the Code's rules regarding
what constitutes valid publication (Article 8) are so vague and anemic that it
is not difficult to fulfill the Code's criteria. Self-publication is
implicitly permitted as long as a token effort is made to provide a public and
ns recommendations regarding the desirability of publication in 'appropriate
scientific journals', and that it be deposited in a library. But because these
are mere recommendations, they might as well be written in invisible ink.
> Nevertheless, I thought that it would be useful for members
> of these list to be aware of this publication and its
The implications are ominous. Considering the ease with which a glossy,
professional-looking publication can be put together, this sort of
self-publication could be the tip of the iceberg.
I know the 'paleontological community' is not monolithic (including those who
work in the dinosaurian arena). But given the permissive attitude of the ICZN,
the safest course of action would be to simply ignore this name (i.e., treat it
as a nomen nudum). Recognizing "Amphicoelias brontodiplodocus" as valid is
only going to encourage the naming of new dinosaurs in self-published,