Pseudo-Publications on the WWW

Geoff Read gread at
Fri Oct 25 18:18:06 EST 1996

I thought this had been thrashed out sufficiently already but ... 
Jim Blake opined robustly that:

> ... Tom Parker's posting proposing a new 
> synonymy does not belong on the Annelid WWW site because it does not 
> constitute a publication in the sense of the 3rd Edition of the ICZN.

This logic is hard to understand. It already has a self-declared status as
a _non-publication_  under ICZN as is traditional amongst newsletter-type
items, into which category some people seem to think this web page falls.
In any case no one disagrees about its status and Tom doesn't declare a 
new synonym. It's an interesting little item. What is the problem?

> Virtually everyone felt that publication in traditional referred 
> journals was preferred for papers having a taxonomic content.  I have 
> not seen any postings, apart from Geoff Read, that is in disagreement 
> with this position. 

Pardon? I don't believe I volunteered a preference against traditional
anything. I  said "A potentially impermanent, potentially changing
document will not be the primary  place where anyone will publish new
species until technology can create a date-stamped, authenticated,
encrypted document [etc, with comment on a possible refereed electronic 
journal in the future]" 

[Jim quotes the code that a publication "must contain a statement by the
author that any new name or nomenclatural act within it is intended for
permanent, public, scientific record."]

> Therefore, can Tom Parker (or Geoff Read) claim that the Annelid WWW
> site is permanent?  I DON'T THINK SO!!  

Again I don't see the logic. It's more permanent than you imagine but
that's irrelevant as the page declares its status as a _non-publication_ 
for ICZN (also part of article 8). _If_ it was relevant then we are
talking about a statement of intent, not the physical permanence of the
object that is the publication, or that houses the publication. No 
statement of intent = not a ICZN valid publication. No problem (unless 
anyone becomes enraged that they can't quote it and tear it to shreds).

> ... We have already experienced a 
> change of address from the original Cornell Muse server to the Univ. of 
> Kansas server and two totally different URL addresses.  

You'll find that both still work. Isn't the internet a marvellous thing :-)


Geoff <gread at>

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