Message 2004-08-0008: Re: Registration

Sun, 29 Aug 2004 16:49:40 +0200

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Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 16:49:40 +0200
From: David Marjanovic <>
To: DML <>
Cc: PML <>
Subject: Re: Registration

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2004 10:33 PM
Subject: Re: Registration

> David Marjanovic ( wrote:
> <Why so aggressive/frustrated this time? Or am I misinterpreting your
> tone?>
>   No. I want to get to the core of what I think is either too lax of a
> system or too easy a one to play with, and to point out reasons why the
> current recommendations and "registration" need to be tighter, more
> controlled. There is no "frustration" involved, even if the intent is
> aggressive as far as it goes to get my points across.


> <It isn't automated. If you coin a name and want it to be valid, you have
> to visit the registration database (available online, of course) and
> submit it. The webmaster will register it as soon as you notify him/her of
> publication.>
>   And what qualifies as publication? David stated below that _some_
> dissertations _could_ be, which is ridiculous:

Hey, hey. Wait. Some dissertations are considered published _by the ICZN_!
Dissertations are explicitely considered unpublished _by the PhyloCode_

> 4.2. Publication, under this code, is defined as distribution of text (but
> not sound), with or without images, in a peer-reviewed book or periodical.
> To qualify as published, works must consist of numerous (at least 50
> copies), simultaneously obtainable, identical, durable, and unalterable
> copies, some of which are distributed to major institutional libraries in
> the field so that the work is generally accessible as a permanent public
> record to the scientific community, be it through sale or exchange or
> gift, and subject to the restrictions and qualifications in the present
> article.

That's the PhyloCode and not the ICZN.

> <No more nomina nuda.>
>   Actually, if it were to meet the requirements of publication, the name
> can still be considered as published in agreement to the code. Does this
> name get "forgotten" until the description/definition exists? Or someone
> actually assigns it a number? It's that "someone" that worries me.

A name will not be considered published if its registration number will not
be cited in the publication. First a name gets a definition, then a
registration number, and then it is published. Everything that will violate
this order will be treated as invalid by the PhyloCode.

> <A few dissertations _can_ be -- simply if they meet the criteria of
> publication, such as public availability in enough copies. We've had that
> discussion. By extrapolation, I don't believe it's regulated what a
> "casual" magazine might be.>

Here I was talking about the ICZN. You replied by quoting the PhyloCode.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.

> <- Under the ICZN, you _don't need_ any statement of intent.
>  *Ricardoestesia* and *Richardoestesia* are two different names under the
> ICZN (even though they just so happen to be objective synonyms). Likewise,
> each and every misspelling in a published (according to the Code) work is
> a new scientific name.>
>   Fortunately, this is also how the ICZN treats different names,

Not "also". This is how the ICZN and ICBN treat different names. The
PhyloCode does not treat them that way. Instead, the registered spelling is

> <- Under the ICZN, it's enough to publish a name to make it valid. It's a
> nomen nudum in that case, but still. Under the PhyloCode a name cannot
> become validly published if it isn't already registered!>
>   It can't be a nomen nudum unless it's published.

If it's published, but not validly published, it's a nomen nudum under the
ICZN. If it's published but not validly published under the PhyloCode, it's
simply nothing under the PhyloCode.

> If it's published with intent, under the code,
> it's not a nomen nudum. Imagine how this works
> out: Mike Keesey publishes his description of a clade system (see
> in a periodiocal (note, publication criteria doesn't
> require peer-review, it says "_or_ periodical" [of which _Prehistoric
> Times_ is one])

Again a confusion of ICZN and PhyloCode. The above quote comes from the

And then an additional misunderstanding. It says "peer-reviewed book or
periodical". You seemingly interpret this as "{peer-reviewed book} or
{periodical}". But I'm certain that it means "peer-reviewed {book or
periodical}", short for "peer-reviewed book or peer-reviewed periodical".
This is consistent with the insistence of Note 4.2.2 on peer-review; Note
4.2.2 implies that dissertations are not validly published because they are
(as it explains) not peer-reviewed.

> as a description, using the names *Alpha,* *Beta,* etc.
> These, because they show NO intent to name new species but simply form
> species/genus and clade groups by explicit use, even offer definitions,
> become absolute valid names. This WON'T work under the Phylocode due to
> the following (restated):

This is exactly one half of my point! The other half is that, under the
ICZN, all those "names" _would_ be validly enough published to be nomina

> <In other words, it is _impossible_ to create a nomen nudum under the
> PhyloCode. You simply can't make a name that doesn't have _at least a
> definition_.>
>   Let's go back a few steps. It is NOT possible to publish a name, and
> THEN register it, as I understand it from Article 7. It must be registered
> PRIOR to publication.

That's how I understand it, too.

> Now, some magazines have embargoes, and while this
> doesn't prevent them from dispersing info to newspapers for dissemination
> _on time_, it does involve an interesting connundrum: I would have to
> REGISTER my name prior to publication, THEN verify to the database that it
> exists, to get the registration number, THEN get that published IN THE
> PROTOLOGUE, which has to be published with the name to make it valid.
> Correct?

No. You would probably _submit_ your name at the very beginning (though,
Rec. 8.1A, not _too_ early). _Only then_ would you submit your manuscript
for publication. If it got accepted for publication, you would _then_ inform
the database administrator of it, then your name would receive a
registration number, _then_ you would insert that number into your page
proofs, and _then_ your paper would be published complete with the
registration number.

> Say that I manage to get this registration number back in time to
> get it into the protologue prior to publication, but the editorial process
> has closed, and it is no longer possible for me to make emmendations or
> add a corrigendum to my paper. What do I do now?

The process of getting a registration number would probably only take
seconds (if done online). It could be automated fairly easily. You send in
the citation (including date) under which your paper will appear and get a
registration number in return.

> <That's an advantage of the former over the latter, and that's my point.>
>   Except that the name *Avgodectes* has, also, applied to what PhyloCode
> considered criteria of publication (it was in a periodical, ya know),
> shows an intent to name species, make itself available for the permanent
> record, and a nearly complete "protologue" either in Peters' article, or
> in Wang and Zhou which Peters referenced for the sake of
> illustration/photo and further description. Hey, it saves paper time! The
> name is now available to be a converted clade name.

It is. But the original question was if it is validly published under the
ICZN. It may not be. And my point was that if the PhyloCode were already
implemented and used in this case instead of the ICZN, this ambiguity would
not exist. I was just using *A.* as an example of the advantages of the

> <"8.2. At the submitter's request, a name or definition that he or she
>   proposed can be changed or removed from the registration database if it
>   is not yet published.">
>   Ah, but it WAS published. It was just published in ERROR.

What is "it"? I didn't talk about anything specific. I was just answering to
what I thought was your question: what would one do if one had submitted a
name and definition to the database and wanted to publish something

> As one may
> note, some names get noticed for error after publication, a condition we
> may recall with regards to *Agnostiphys*/*Agnosphytis*. This is a critical
> point that the PhyloCode has one hand DOWN from what the ICZN can do: a
> first revisor, preferrably the original authors, may indicate in press
> which name was the intended name. At this point, BOTH names should be
> entered as published, a database of erroneously published names,
> essentially, or lapsus calami, but only ONE gets a registration number as
> nomen validum. Simple as that. BUT that's a lot more work, isn't it?

Articles 18.3 through 18.6 tell
what to do in that case. Interestingly, what they say about the name
disagrees with what Art. 8.3 says about the definition. I think we should
change Art. 8.3 to follow the same logic as Art. 18.3 -- 18.6.

> <I can't quite imagine an editor dropping a word, however.>
>   It can happen by accident. A word, a letter, etc.

Nowadays editors don't retype manuscripts. They scan them or simply reformat
what they've got in an electronic format.

> Someone has to check to make sure that publication is REAL.

Imagine the eternal shame that would come upon anyone if people found out
later that the author had invented a citation which didn't exist. I think
this alone is enough to limit the number of such occurrences to at most one
per decade on average.

> NO one can go back and fix the errors in publication,
> or determine which name was the intended proper name, because ...
>  "14.3. When two or more synonyms have the same publication date (Art. 5),
>   the one that was registered first (and therefore has the lowest
>   registration number) takes precedence."
>   ... it has already been decided.

The Commission can fix all that. Assuming, of course, that it would ever

> Note further:
>  "18.1. The original spelling of a name established under this code is the
>   correct spelling and should be retained in subsequent publications,
>   except for the correction of typographical errors (see Art. 18.5). The
>   original spelling is the one that is used in the protologue at the time
>   of establishment and that is registered (see Art. 8)."
>   ... that name would be under 14.3.

I don't think so. Different spellings of the same name are not synonyms =
different names with the same meaning; instead one spelling is correct and
the others wrong = only one of them is a name _at all_.

We might want to make this clearer, however.

>   If the registered spelling is determined to be incorrect,
>   it is to be changed in the registration database and a note
>   added stating that the change was made. If the protologue is incorrect,
>   the registration database is to be annotated to alert users that this is
>   the case. Such decisions regarding the correct spelling of a name may be
>   made by any person but must be published (Art. 4) before the
>   registration database is corrected or annotated."
>   ... then how is the change to be made? The latter article sub-article
> notes that this can happen, but not HOW. "It is to be made" sounds yet
> like more red-tape, and less of an automated system.

There is a "database administrator", and that is a person who has the
ability to change entries in the database.

"I am /root, I'm allowed to do that!"
-- T-shirts seen in a bookstore that also sells software and merchandise

> Even further, while it involves the author, the author is NOT allowed to
> change it, but the first use of the name is to be accepted, or that which
> attached to the key phrase "new clade name" or etc.. NO room for error.

Long live Art. 18.3 and 18.5.

> This last subarticle (18.4) would seem to be clarifying, yet it disagrees
> with previous articles (14.3, 18.1, 18.3) in what action can be taken.

They all describe different situations. But I think we should nevertheless
change Art. 18.3 from "the spelling in the protologue" to "any spelling in
the protologue" to make this clearer.

> It's not as if the author will have direct access to the registry to
> make the change himself, but someone else is at the helm.

This will probably change, at least for some of the changes you could mean
here. At least that's how I interpret the relevant presentation in Paris.

>   How many points have I made as yet?
>   1) the system is not automated.

That's a good thing.

>   2) there IS red-tape involved in doing something as fundamental as
> choosing the name and getting it recognized.

Precisely as much as necessary, IMHO.

>   3) the registry has more kinks in it than it SHOULD, and thus
> complicates the system, not smooths it.

Above I've shown why I disagree.

>   4) *Avgodectes* is still a valid name until a definition is coined and
> accepted. Otherwise, PhyloCode is not valid as yet, thus has no say.

This is beside my point, which in turn was that the confusion about the
validity of that name would not exist if the PhyloCode were already
implemented and would have been used instead of the ICZN.


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