Re: NANFA-L-- Moribund fish & Life Outside

dlmcneely at
Mon, 24 Oct 2005 12:42:43 -0500

Again, if it's not published, it doesn't exist in science. Publication
these days can be in different format (does web publication count for
systematics purposes?) than might be traditional, but it's got to be in
the publically accessible media. I suspect that the systematics folks
are still insisting on print. A thesis is technically published, but
practically, doesn't count, and journals traditionally consider theses
and dissertations as unpublished material (that is, data that appear
there can be published in a journal in the same essential form without
it being considered double dipping as it would if it were published
that way in two different journals).

For organizations that hire people to do research, like universities
and government agencies, publication in peer reviewed journals is
essential to document the research done. A thesis is just a start, in
that context.

So, for the students, listen to your advisors, and publish your stuff.
Otherwise, the rest of us will generally be unaware of it. And Laura
was properly prideful when she mentioned to us that she had published.
Congratulations to you, Laura!

Regarding "subscpecies," I'll go further than Bruce did, beyond saying
it's a "squishy" term. Almost all systematicists nowdays are cladists,
and in cladistic systematics (phylogenetics), the evolutionary species
seems to be the preferred way to define species. That means that an
independently evolving population is a species. If what we used to
call subspecies delineate independently evolving populations (how would
they maintain their integrity otherwise), regardless of whether there
is some gene flow, then those populations are species.

Oh, well, technicalities.


Dave McNeely

David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
Langston, OK 73050; email: dlmcneely at
telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
home page

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