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Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 20:26:05 +0200
Subject: Re: An alternative to the Companion Volume?
Dear colleagues, =09In case anybody wonders, I suspect that=3D20 if David's proposal has not triggered more=3D20 discussion on this list, it is simply that many=3D20 of us are very busy right now (this is certainly=3D20 my case); it is not by lack of interest.=3D20 However, there are other reasons. For instance,=3D20 the decision to launch the PhyloCode in the=3D20 companion volumes was made by the plenary session=3D20 of the ISPN, and it would logically take another=3D20 one to choose an alternative. This would either=3D20 entail conducting extensive discussions and votes=3D20 by e-mail (not convenient for the whole=3D20 membership), or it would require waiting for the=3D20 next ISPN meeting to disccuss this (not advisable=3D20 in my opinion because we need to launch this code=3D20 soon). =09Sincerely, =09Michel >I apologize for the somewhat unusual length; I think this matter is = very >important. Please bear with me. > >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 inten= tion. >But the Companion Volume may not be an effective way to implement it= . It >has two potential big problems: > >- If too few people contribute as authors and editors, the risk rise= s that >unwise* or unpopular names or definitions could be set in stone, lea= ding >the LARGE number of systematists who has never heard of phylogenetic >nomenclature to despise it, perhaps even driving away some current >adherents. If EITHER number becomes too large, the PhyloCode will go= the >way of the BioCode. >- If too many people are involved, it will never reach publication. > >* =3D3D will produce confusion when the topology changes in unforese= en but >foreseeable ways. > >The balance between these dangers is probably _very_ difficult to fi= nd, >and if we run out of luck, that balance might itself lie in an undes= irable >place (like containing many largely wise but rather unpopular names = and >definitions _and_ being published 10 years from now). > >Therefore I would like to suggest an, in my humble opinion, safer >alternative: Instead of having one volume published at once, we coul= d >spread the work over time -- by implementing the PhyloCode piecemeal= . >Here's how I imagine that: > >1. On the website, and maybe in the first issue of the Society's jou= rnal, >we post a notice that people are encouraged to publish papers (prefe= rably >collaboratively) on the nomenclature of their favorite clades. Such = papers >already exist; an example (from dinosaurs, where currently the most >discussion on PN happens) is cited below. >_____Maybe the publication of such papers should be restricted to th= e >Society's journal. This way we would make sure that we wouldn't miss= any >of them, and that all would abide to the PhyloCode. The disadvantage= would >be that it would (probably) slow down the whole process. > >2. The names in such a publication become _provisionally registered_= . > >3. A certain amount of time later (what about some five to ten years= ?) the >Committee on Phylogenetic Nomenclature (or whatever part or appointe= es >thereof) looks what has become of the names in that paper: Are they = being >used? Are they being ignored? Are they still being discussed? >_____If they are in general use, the CPN changes their registration = =66rom >provisional to durable (except if the authors do not want this); see= the >fourth point. >_____If they are being ignored, the CPN deletes them from the regist= ration >database. >_____If the discussion is still going on, it won't be interrupted --= the >CPN extends the time of provisional registration by another term. >_____Depending on the CPN's workload, the duration of a term should = be >considered a minimum (if the CPN has too much to do, it can simply >consider the issue later). > >4. Upon durable registration, the authors of the names stay the same= , and >priority sets in. I'm not sure if the year and the registration numb= ers >should change to reflect the date of durable registration, or whethe= r they >should stay, too, which might make the Code retroactive. This issue = needs >discussion. > >5. After the nomenclature of a part of the tree has been set in ston= e in >this way, anyone can name newly discovered clades in that part and c= an >immediately register them durably, but should maybe not need to do s= o. > >In other words, each part of the tree gets its own Companion Volume = and >its own date for the implementation of the PhyloCode. >_____There is, by the way, a precedent for this: under the ICZN, pri= ority >starts in 1758, except for the spiders which start in 1751. (This >particular publication is simply declared by the ICZN to have been >published in 1758. We don't need to do such nonsense, we have the >registration numbers.) > >I hope to have started a vigorous discussion (and to have elevated t= he >impact factor of PaleoBios by an order of magnitude ;-) )! > >Reference: >Michael P. Taylor & Darren Naish: The phylogenetic taxonomy [sic] of >Diplodocoidea (Dinosauria: Sauropoda), PaleoBios 25(2), 1 -- 7 (2005= ) >downloadable from http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/dino/pubs/ > >-- >Telefonieren Sie schon oder sparen Sie noch? >NEU: GMX Phone_Flat http://www.gmx.net/de/go/telefonie --=20 Michel Laurin =3D46RE 2696, CNRS Universit=3DE9 Paris 7 - Denis Diderot 2, place Jussieu case 7077 75005 Paris =3D46RANCE tel. (33 1) 44 27 36 92 http://tolweb.org/tree/laurin/Laurin_Home_page.html Secretary of the International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature