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Re: Publication and the Code

----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com>
To: vrtpaleo@usc.edu; dinosaur@usc.edu
Sent: Thu, 7 October, 2010 12:36:26 PM
Subject: RE: Publication and the Code

> As for the specimens being privately owned, the holotype is said to be "on 
>public exhibition at the Washakie Museum and Cultral Center, Worland 
>So it seems publically accessable to me.

Said to be on public exhibition is NOT the same as being scientifically 
accessible in the sense most researchers would see it.  The authors don't 
actually say if it is permanent or temporary display,  if it is a replica or 
original on display (I'm assuming original based  on their wording, though to 
it seems more profitable to sell display  casts). 

I'm somewhat bewildered that you Mickey, of all people, would feel it  is 
"accessible". Verifying supposed data by standing afar behind a barrier to only 
look at or note generalities is totally inadequate. This is a purported 
specimen, so it should in a public repository, available for scientific 
verification in a non-limited way. I've walked in several exhibitions/public 
displays of fossils in the past only to be told I was not to take photos, so 
also wondering if anyone wanting to look at the "holotype" of 
might need to verify if they are permitted photos.

> Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 00:37:35 +0100
> From: mike@indexdata.com
> To: danchure@easilink.com
> CC: VRTPALEO@usc.edu; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Publication and the Code
> On 7 October 2010 00:14, Dan Chure  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 conge
quires 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 published, that it was not peer-reviewed, and that it suffers from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
> >
> >
> >