Saturday, February 25, 2012

Advance online publication and getting dates correct

We all know the issues caused by journals releasing online versions of their papers earlier than the paper versions are published.  I normally don't mind because the content is identical (though see the "Gryphognathus" vs. "Gryphoceratops" situation for an exception), but one thing it does negatively affect is that it causes lots of nomina nuda due to the ICZN's backwards Article 9.8 that doesn't accept electronic publications as valid.  I suppose technically every advance online publication naming a new taxon creates a short-lived nomen nudum, but I'm not pedantic enough to count them in most cases.  Where they matter more is when the electronic and paper versions are published in different years.  It's confused me more than once in the Database, where sometimes the online date is never corrected, sometimes the online date is never mentioned, and sometimes I happen to list both.  So to straighten it out once and for all, I've standardized my format to give all such taxa formal nomen nudum synonymies, in the comments I state what month and year the online and paper versions were published, and only list the final paper version in the references.  This should make it up on my next update, but until then, here are all the Mesozoic theropods affected, organized by journal. 

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica
- Cruxicheiros 2009 vs 2010

Cretaceous Research
- Albertonykus 2008 vs 2009
- Hollanda 2009 vs 2010
- Qiupalong 2010 vs 2011
- Bonapartenykus 2011 vs 2012
- Patagonykinae 2011 vs 2012

Historical Biology
- palmapenis 2011 vs 2012

Journal of South American Earth Sciences
- Alamitornis 2008 vs 2009

Journal of Systematic Paleontology
- Elsornis 2006 vs 2007
- Mystiornithiformes 2010 vs 2011
- Mystiornithidae 2010 vs 2011
- Mystiornis 2010 vs 2011

- Longirostravis 2003 vs 2004
- Skorpiovenator 2008 vs 2009
- Carcharodontosauria 2009 vs 2010
- Megaraptora 2009 vs 2010
- Neovenatoridae 2009 vs 2010

Proceedings of the Royal Society B
- Austroraptor 2008 vs 2009
- Beishanlong 2009 vs 2010
- Tianyuraptor 2009 vs 2010
- Xiongguanlong 2009 vs 2010
- Zhongjianornis 2009 vs 2010


  1. I think the print issue of Proc. Royal Soc. B containing Beishanlong et al. did exist in 2009, despite the cover date. Their cover dates are usually a little ahead of reality (their website shows the current issue as April 7, 2012).

    Also in the case of Hollanda, I remember Science Direct swapped the advance version for the paginated version in late 2009, but I've never been able to confirm if the print edition was actually out then. I'm not sure the publication dates on Cretaceous Research have anything to do with reality, because their "current issue" online is dated June 2012!

  2. Unfortunately, in this age when basically no individual has subscriptions or depends on paper copies at the library, we have no way to verify exactly when most articles are published. I know on the DML Holtz said the date that counts is the copyright date of the journal itself, but we all know the front page information is almost never available online and library subscriptions to printed versions are decreasing. What's your source for the Beishanlong volume's physical publication date?

    As for "current issues" having late dates, I figure the "current issue" is just the most recent issue with finalized articles, pagination, etc.. Doesn't have to mean it's physically published yet. Maybe the Royal Society plans to print number 1732 on April 7th?

  3. Re: Beishanlong being out in 2009, I think Holtz mentioned it somewhere. DML, or Facebook, or some blog?

    Beishanlong is also in a supplement of Don Glut's dinosaur encyclopedias, that I personally recieved for Christmas in 2009. So I hope it was formally published by that point....

  4. Glut always includes a caveat in his encyclopedias saying they aren't to be used as a source of nomenclature, so no worry there. Or else names like "jimmadseni" and "Szechuanoraptor dongi" would be credited to him.