Message 2005-12-0028: Re: An alternative to the Companion Volume?

Mon, 24 Oct 2005 16:08:27 +0100 (BST)

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Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 16:08:27 +0100 (BST)
From: [unknown]
Cc:, jonathan.r.wagner@mail.utexas.ed=
Subject: Re: An alternative to the Companion Volume?

> Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 20:14:56 +0200 (MEST)
> From: David Marjanovic <>
> The idea of having a Companion Volume is to avoid having a gold
> rush, a competitive race where people run to get their favorite
> names and definitions registered first. I wholeheartedly agree with
> this intention.  But the Companion Volume may not be an effective
> way to implement it.

I am also concerned by the problem of rigid priority in clade
definitions, and the role that the companion volume seems likely to
play in establishing the initial set of registered definitions, and I
am a bit surprised that no-one seems to have followed up David's
email.  Does no-one else have any thoughts on this?

> 2. The names in such a publication become _provisionally registered=
> 3. A certain amount of time later (what about some five to ten year=
s?) the=20
> Committee on Phylogenetic Nomenclature (or whatever part or appoint=
> thereof) looks what has become of the names in that paper: Are they=
> used? Are they being ignored? Are they still being discussed?
> _____If they are in general use, the CPN changes their registration=
> provisional to durable (except if the authors do not want this); se=
e the=20
> fourth point.
> _____If they are being ignored, the CPN deletes them from the regis=
> database.
> _____If the discussion is still going on, it won't be interrupted -=
- the=20
> CPN extends the time of provisional registration by another term.

This all seems eminently reasonable to me, with the sole proviso that
it _could_ become an unpleasantly heavy demand on the committee.  It
needn't, though: I'd imagine that by five years after publication, 80=
of the definitons would be no-brainers to affirm, 80% of the remainde=
will be no-brainers to dump (because they're not being used) and 80%
of the remainder will fall into the need-more-time-for-the-community-
to-sort-it-out bucket.  Which should leave less than 1% of published
clade definitions requiring any real discussion.

> 5. After the nomenclature of a part of the tree has been set in
> stone in this way, anyone can name newly discovered clades in that
> part and can immediately register them durably.

I'm not sure I agree with this part.

 _/|_=09 ____________________________________________________________=
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <>  http://www.miketaylor=
)_v__/\  Just because it's a Well Known Fact doesn't mean it's true.


Feedback to <> is welcome!