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Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 18:52:21 +0100
From: David Marjanovic <email@example.com>
Subject: Why is the PhyloCode so strict? (long)
In some places the PhyloCode is stricter than at least the ICZN, and I don't understand why: http://www.ohiou.edu/phylocode/art9.html "a clade name must be provided with a phylogenetic definition, written in English or Latin" "it will often be worthwhile to include in the protologue an English or Latin description or diagnosis" Why only English and Latin, and why still Latin? ~:-| (Does someone know of any paper in Latin that was published in the last 100 years? On the other hand, I know lots of vertebrates that weren't described in English.) The ICZN only has a much more general recommendation here: http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1995Feb/0093.html "Appendix E. General recommendations. 4. When the description of a new taxon is not written in English, French, German, Italian, or Latin, it should be accompanied by a translation into one of those languages. 5. In publications issued in any other language than English, French, German, Italian, or Latin, the explanations of figures should be translated into one of these languages." While I am at it, I still await an "official" reaction to my proposal that Art. 17.1 http://www.ohiou.edu/phylocode/art17.html should be loosened to treat all diacritial signs like diaereses. :-) http://www.ohiou.edu/phylocode/art17.html "Recommendation 17A. Names established under this code should be pronounceable. Thus, every syllable should contain a vowel (or diphthong), and combinations of consonants that do not generally occur in either Latin or English should be avoided unless they are contained within the name of a person, place, or other entity after which a taxon is named." The latter phenomenon occurs so often today that the whole recommendation is rather useless, I think. The q in the dinosaur *Nqwebasaurus thwazi* from South Africa is a palatal click, and Chinese dinosaurs are almost always named after the places where they were discovered and/or after Chinese paleontologists. Of course what is pronounceable or not is _utterly_ subjective. I could begin long dilettant discussions about whether Welsh w is never a vowel, likewise for the r of many and l of some Slavic languages. On the other hand, there are many languages without l, r or sh. Recently a dissertation in which 3 new dinosaurs are described was mentioned on the Dinosaur mailing list by George Olshevsky: > >As I perused the dissertation, I got to thinking about whether or not > such dissertation names should be considered as published. The > International Code of Zoological Nomenclature expressly excludes > dissertations from their definition of a publication, so there is no > question that the above taxa, despite their documentation in the > dissertation and its subsequent distribution, are not available as > scientific names. The dissertation in question is available on microfilm from UMI. Tommy Tyrberg firstname.lastname@example.org answered: > This is a purely anglosaxon idea. At least in Europe dissertations have > always been properly published and counted as peer-reviewed > publications. As a matter of fact in most european countries no > publication you ever write is likely to be as carefully reviewed as your > dissertation. > There is any number of scientific name in use that were originally > published in dissertations. and later: > This idea that a dissertation is not a publication is, as I said before, a > parochial anglo-saxon idea, and it has not been applied in the past. If > anyone is interested I can easily supply a number of universally accepted > avian names that were originally published in dissertations. > > Here in Sweden by the way all dissertations are printed and distributed to > all university libraries well before the award of the degree. The idea is > that the dissertation should be available to the scientific community in > advance. And as for US dissertations, now that You can order them online > from the UMI they are actually more easily and cheaply available than most > "proper" publications. In Austria theses and dissertations are likewise available in university libraries, which are open to the "general public". Interestingly the current draft of the PhyloCode is even stricter than the current version of the ICZN; the dissertation would be considered unpublished for several reasons! >From http://www.ohiou.edu/phylocode/art4-5.html: "4.2. Publication [...] is defined as distribution of text [...] in a peer-reviewed book or periodical. To qualify as published, works must consist of numerous (at least 100 copies), [...] distributed in a way that makes the work generally accessible as a permanent public record to the scientific community, [...] Note 4.2.1. Approval of a work by a thesis or dissertation committee does not constitute peer review. 4.3. The following do not qualify as publication: (a) dissemination of text or images solely through electronic communication networks (such as the Internet) or through storage media (such as CDs, diskettes, film, microfilm and microfiche) that require a special device to read; (b) theses and dissertations; [...]" I think the special mentionings of theses and dissertations should be dropped. Art. 4.3 (a) may be a good idea, but the ICZN has dropped its analogous rule in 1999/2000 (three species of Foraminifera were described in _Palaeontologia Electronica_ on the web, some CDs were deposited in libraries).