(by g.read from niwa.co.nz)
Sat Nov 13 03:11:20 EST 2010
Is there much of a problem? I believe in not trying to be too clever in these matters. Simply don't accept obvious first-view or pre-final version dates for the purposes of taxonomy, note that the papers are efirst, temporary, or unauthenticated versions at the time you get them as pdfs, and do check the publisher site later for updated information and a final version.
Next, whatever year & month date the journal publisher puts on the final paginated print version is fine by me, unless there is good evidence it is seriously astray. No pagination at all and it must be electronic only and an unavailable name. Publisher issue month may not be exact, but with a main-stream journal the issue month won't be too early or too late by more than two or three months - so that's a starting point at least. Some taxonomically aware journals such as Zootaxa & ZooKeys conveniently print the exact day of publication on the title page, and don't have prior e-first versions. Those dates are accurate in my experience so no problem there. Elsewhere if there is a question of priority within a short period then someone might be inclined to delve into the status day by day, month by month, post hoc and tell us all about it - particularly the respective authors. There you are - for the moment the best solution is we can ask the authors about it - when exactly was their print version published? In contrast the publisher might be expected to know definitively the print date to the day, and they will know it, but I suspect the information they provide online may sometimes be ambiguous or misleading. Nevertheless a possible date range can be ascertained from that source, and then queried further if necessary.
Is the situation that interests you resolvable by the above suggestions?
As for the future - it's all rather uncertain. Who knows what is coming as regards the rules and conventions regarding e-publication only without print, but it will be different for sure. Perhaps most taxonomists around my age will be beyond worrying about such things by the time there is consensus on how to do it?
>>> On 12/11/2010 at 8:06 a.m., Vasily Radashevsky <radashevsky from hotmail.com>
> Dear Annelideans,
> Does anybody have any idea how to deal with "first view", "preview" and
> other kinds of prepublications that have become very popular in many
> journals nowadays? The problem is that quite often these "first view" papers
> are put on-line in one year, but the final version gets published in the
> next year. So, these two versions of same thing have different years of
> publication. Which year should be taken into consideration if paper
> describes a new species or whatever new taxon?
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