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RE: Having your ideas published without attribution, and having your names with priority ignored
I'd like to note that I now have a new post on my blog on this subject,
which can be reached directly by
said, let me say that I disagree with Tim's conclusions regarding
selective, subjective disregard for nomenclature. When it comes to
dealing with obvious, or implied, breaches of ethics, the ICZN can be
appealed for the purpose of such behavior. I do not have a record on the
plenary powers effects of the ICZN, but it is possible to at least
suggest the ability to set aside nomenclature for some supposed issue.
That said, I do not think it will work. "Nomina oblita" do not really
exist as such these days, and even so one can be rescued from obscurity
While the ICZN may not be a simple recourse, or a
sure one, the systematic blacklisting that the book HAS received --
beyond the ignorance of buying fossils assuredly from countries
well-known to have established anti-fossil-export laws -- is itself
somewhat unethical. One does not defeat unethical behavior by doing so
in kind. We regard the strict rules of nomenclature as valid, and
moreover as right, lest we have ourselves become hypocrites. If one
disagrees, one can either move for change, or decide oneself is outside
the system, and when one does the latter, that person has no right to
invoke the system so eschewed for his benefit.
This is fair
play. This is play so fair, it says that when someone else publishes a
work a group chooses to disregard, whose contents are themselves Science
and worthy of regard but are ignored, the "rules" of the "game" say
that that group will have to pay attention, or themselves be vulnerable
Czerkas's books _should_ be cited. And we can
include a note about the ethical problems with it every time we do so,
to drive home the point. If the collective finger-wagging does anything,
it will enforce that this is a community of Scientists, not high school
cliques. We bear a collective shame for not holding ourselves to the
same standards we hold others.
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
"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
> Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 16:49:42 +1000
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Having your ideas published without attribution, and having your
> names with priority ignored
> Jaime Headden wrote:
> > The "Dinosaur Muscuem Journal," volume "1", not being some sort of "good"
> > journal is irrelevant. Zoology has seen worse crap get "published", and
> > later recognized
> > despite the questionability of it medium. The ICZN doesn't care. I argue
> > that the book should be accepted, regardless of any technical or ... well,
> > other issues it may
> > have. There has been a systematic ignorance of this work in recent
> > literature: ignoring *Scansoriopteryx heilmannii,* *Omnivoropteryx
> > sinousaorum,* whatever. Bennett
> > published a review on *Utahdactylus katae* (2007:
> > http://dx.doi.org/10.1671%2F0272-4634%282007%2927%5B257%3AROUFTJ%5D2.0.CO%3B2)
> > in the very journal
> > Gao et al. appears in. The editors are not afraid to mention the taxa,
> > authors should not themselves be afraid to use the nomenclature, especially
> > if it is their intention to
> > sink it: *Cryptovolans pauli* into *Microraptor zhaoianus* (especially now
> > that *gui* into *zhaoianus* has been formally qualified by Turner et al.),
> > *Omnivoropteryx
> > sinousaorum* into *Sapeornis chaoyangensis*. I don't care what name
> > actually gets used for a valid taxon.
> > And you shouldn't care.
> Jaime, I'm not saying that the DMJ and its contents should be
> blacklisted. I'm merely saying that researchers should be allowed to
> exercise some discretion in deciding which family-level names should
> be nominated as clades (or potential clades) for phylogenetic
> taxonomy. Sapeornithidae is preferable to Omnivoropterygidae as a
> clade name.
> This is not a radical suggestion: this kind of discretion is already
> fairly prevalent in paleontology. We use Diplodocidae rather than
> Atlantosauridae, Coelophysidae over Podokesauridae, etc etc. Clades
> named after a taxon should use that taxon in the definition (as
> Diplodocidae does: _Diplodocus_ not _Dicraeosaurus_, after Sereno 1998
> & Taylor and Naish, 2005). From this perspective, Sapeornithidae
> (which would be defined with reference to _Sapeornis_) is preferable
> to Omnivoropterygidae (which would be defined with reference to
> > Rather, you should, but for this reason: If you name a taxon, what should
> > prevent me from ignoring YOURS?
> If I named a taxon based on an illegally obtained specimen, and
> described the specimen in a self-published journal (thereby bypassing
> peer review), I'd say I'd only have myself to blame.
> > Stop playing politics, and cite the effing book.
> Cite the book, by all means. I agree that Gao et al. could at least
> have mentioned the type specimen of _Omnivoropteryx sinousaorum_, and
> cited the original description. Nevertheless, I think Gao (and
> others) are within their rights to choose Sapeornithidae as the name
> of the family that includes _Sapeornis_ and _Omnivoropteryx_, rather
> than the earlier-named Omnivoropterygidae. It's only because the name
> has -idae at the end of it that puts these family-level names within
> the nominal jurisdiction of the ICZN in the first place. We don't
> have this nomenclatural issue with Sapeornithiformes vs
> Omnivoropterygiformes, for example. But because Sapeornithidae and
> Omnivoropterygidae both end in -idae, we get entangled in the ICZN and
> its outdated (and erratically applied) Code.
> I openly admit I'm being subjective here. My reasoning is not based
> on spite, but on a sense of fair play. The description of
> _Omnivoropteryx_ was shoddy, and the circumstances surrounding the
> fossil were... well, you know. We may be forced to accept the
> nomenclatural validity of the genus _Omnivoropteryx. But there is
> more discretion in which family-level names are used in phylogenetic
> taxonomy. I'm arguing that that, in the case of Sapeornithidae vs
> Omnivoropterygidae, that this discretion should be exercised.
> Mickey Mortimer wrote:
> > Honestly, the flouting of the ICZN isn't my biggest worry. As you say, none
> > of us uses Deinodontidae (though we
> > should!).
> We should? Why?
> > What's concerning is that instead of honestly mentioning Omnivoropteryx and
> > saying the authors prefer to ignore it and its
> > family due to ethical issues regarding its import into the US, they pretend
> > it doesn't exist.
> This is a different issue, and I agree with you here. The
> _Omnivoropteryx_ specimen has become the proverbial fart in the
> elevator. Everybody knows it's there, but we'd much prefer if it
> would just go away. But _Omnivoropteryx_does exist, and we might as
> well talk about it. I've nothing against DMJ papers being cited, or
> the featured specimens and names being discussed in the literature.
> But that doesn't mean I like the idea of names proposed in this
> "journal" getting any more free press. To that end, I'm happy to see
> Omnivoropterygidae sunk in favor of Sapeornithidae.