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Re: New descriptions(IMPORTANT!!)
At 09:24 PM 4/21/2003 +0100, you wrote:
For the sake of future reference are the rules of the ICZN online?
I'm sure this base reference point would help to clarify the thread.
No. I found an old draft, but that is considerably out of date and was on
another site. The ICZN code, at least in that old draft, includes
statements to the effect that since 1985 media "other than printed
documents on paper" are valid, but it doesn't specifically mention web
site. Elsewhere it says that "computer printouts" are not acceptable.
It seems to me that web sites should not be acceptable because of
transience of the information and the fact that it is subject to change
without a paper trail (no pun intended) to document what was originally
published. Until unbiased web sites that can provide permanent archives are
available, this remains a problem.
I got curious about this question and emailed the ICZN for clarification. I
haven't heard back yet.
Earlier some statements were made that were not completely accurate. One
was that descriptions are only published after long periods of research,
investigation of existing descriptions, and so on. I can assure you that is
not always the case. Indeed, I and my collecting partners have been beaten
to the punch by others who have hastily put together a description.
Although hastily done, and published in an unconventional publication, the
description is valid. Another was that descriptions only appear in peer
reviewed journals. I think Bob Goldstein has already pointed out that isn't
true. I have seen the ICZN code in the past and it states something to the
effect that the description must be published in a publication that is
generally available for sale, or free. A description in the Sweet Home
newspaper would be valid, therefore.
I believe that the ICZN should require that descriptions be published in
peer reviewed journals. However, I am not aware that there is any move to
I'll let you know if and when I hear from ICZN.
Barry J. Cooper, Prof. Emeritus, Dept. Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University
Adjunct faculty, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University
Home address: 27505 Riggs Hill Rd., Sweet Home, OR 97386 (bjc3 at cornell_edu)
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