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RE: All about [something]



  Despite listing the DOI (doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0683) for the paper in the 
Royal Society's Online-Before-Print-Service [OBPS], First Cite 
(http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/firstcite), the paper is not 
actually there.

  However, to beat a dead horse:

  This is another (yet!) example of "publication" of nomenclature of papers 
that stay in publisher limbo for months on end until finally being released. 
Here 
(http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2011/04/05/rspb.2011.0410.abstract)
 lies a piece that was first mentioned [and publicized heavily] that was put 
online almost four months ago. The queue from publishing on this hasn't 
absolved papers placed into the OBPS since February, which merely underscores 
how long it may be until this paper actually gets published (and thus altering 
the date the name is available); if the oldest paper in the queue is two months 
before the upload of the Sues et al. MS I mention, we may not see the taxon 
named therein for another 2-3 months, which places it about half a year from 
upload to publication -- but that's for _Proceedings of the RSL_. _Biology 
Letters_'s queue goes back to March, meaning we may see the Naish et al. paper 
between 4-5 months from now. That's not until next year, unless the rate of 
publication from OBPS is more rapid or cherry picked (editors choosing 
selectively from available material that meets editorial requirements and whose 
proofs have been verified by the authors).

  This is but a minor element of my issue with citing & discussing papers and 
their potential nomenclature so freely when the material is not actually 
published, hence the "definitive" paper print version. But it should be notable 
that this issue can be resolved should online print be allowed by the ICZN (as 
it has now been by the ICBN). Before that, though, nomenclatural "problems" 
such as *Shenzhouraptor sinensis* being preceded online by *Jeholornis prima* 
but following in print cause issues when the latter name is far better known 
and better received by some (*cough*GSP*cough*), or for people who are unaware 
that the nomenclatural issue exists at all (e.g., *Epidendrosaurus 
ningchengensis* being treated as the same taxon as *Scansoriopteryx heilmanni*, 
which has priority due to _Naturwissenschaften_'s own OBPS being preempted by 
the ostensible publication date provided by the editor of the publication 
containing the latter name). Even more problematic is when publishers that have 
OBPS can actually withhold papers at the authors' requests, such as when 
*Brontomerus* was accidentally uploaded months before the authors wished it to, 
forcing a revocation of the issue online; it just so happened that the uploaded 
material, as happens with _Acta Palaeontologica Polonica_, was a mere 
post-review acceptance paper, and had not gone through post-review proofing and 
editing, wasn't typeset or formatted, etc. These things make the uploaded 
material on OBPS incomparable to the print version, regardless of the data. If 
they were _just as relevant_, then we could cite them with impunity, quote 
them, etc. They could reasonably be retained for posterity, and this would 
force the authors to have to make work on this form of editing prior to 
submission just to prevent this mishap.

  My general protocol for this issue has been to whine (which I am doing) and 
lament (I do that, too, here and on my blog), and to appeal for some sense of 
reason to be involved. I've extended my argument about general nondiscussion of 
papers unpublished to those with nomenclature, rather than the other way 
around, by retro-thinking the process (though there was a time when I 
restricted this only to nomenclature) simply because of the post-review 
editorial work that goes on in a paper and is occassionally (as with _Acta Pal 
Pol._ and _Cretaceous Research_) uploaded serially at each stage of the 
process. This time, however, after describing another related topic to Mickey 
offlist, I think an additional work-around may be provided. Part of this was 
mentioned in connection when this discussion came up last time.

  There should really only be two options:

1. OBPS nomenclature is valid from the moment it comes online and has a DOI 
provided for it and can be reached (or the service indicates the paper has been 
uploaded). This accords with the ICZN save for the print over digital issue. It 
now accords with the ICBN's protocol, or however I understand it to be. 
Contrarily, if this is not the case, this nomenclature is simply not valid. 
It's not even a nomen nudum (because it's not in print).

2. OBPS nomenclature is omitted from uploaded works (a redaction of the 
nomenclature), and the omission is reversed upon paper print (a new version of 
the paper is uploaded to the server, replacing the other one). This means the 
nomenclature does not have the chance to cause confusion in regards to 
potential competing nomenclature, and just as my previous post on competitive 
nomenclature, places a marker on the material with intent to name (it _has_ 
been named, but the name is being withheld). Alternatively, papers with new 
nomenclature should _NOT_ be uploaded to OBPSs. This completely scrubs the 
issue as relevant, and allows the work to compete for attention with the likes 
of _Nature_ and _Science_, which place their entire issue up the day before 
print release, or with _Naturwiss._ in which it's a week [or two?] ahead.

  Publications do this, though, for attention, but I cannot conceive they can 
do it for money, as the moment these works go up, the authors can provide their 
own copies to anyone who asks; and the only ones who ask are ones who can 
actually understand, handle, or make use of the data therein, and thus it is 
not frivolous. That's what reprints are provided for in the first place. Most 
publishers make the bulk of their money from institutional, not individual, 
licenses, so this is doubly weird.

  I am actually in favor of open processes in review, largely because it 
involves the community in the solution. Crowd-Sourcing the work, I think, will 
lead to far better works than sole and isolated workers delving away at their 
tomes (which is a reason I have begun to allow myself to share my in-prep works 
and had occasionally coauthors before projects fell apart, and also why I share 
my preparation of work on my blog). The current system does not favor this, 
even in regard to _PLoS ONE_, as it occurs all after publication, while the 
general issue of self-protective scientists has a tendency of making the 
adversarial scientist system (workers double checking each other should lead to 
progress!) look more like Marsh and Cope sniping at one another through the 
newspapers. Thus, I think, a better way should be either more (if not fully) 
open, or closed up until release. The OBPS serves us in sharing the bulk of 
research, but when it comes to the naming of taxa, the insistence of the 
governing codes of nomenclature has forced poor, poor compromises.

  In short, this is telling the ICZN to get their act together and 
(paraphrasing Mike Taylor), join the f___ing 21st Century.

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: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 12:18:19 +0200
> From: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: All about *Samrukia*
>
> http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2011/08/09/say-hello-to-samrukia/
>
> Commenting there requires a SciAm login which is easy to get.