International Code of Phylogenetic Nomenclature (PhyloCode)

Division II. Rules

Chapter II. Publication

Article 4. Publication Requirements


The provisions of this article apply not only to the publication of names, but also to the publication of any nomenclatural act (e.g., a proposal to conserve a name).


Publication, under this code, is defined as the distribution of peer-reviewed works consisting of: (1) printed text with or without images, which, unless also published electronically, must be distributed to libraries or scientific institutions associated with libraries in at least five countries on three continents, so that the work is accessible as a permanent public record to the scientific community; and/or (2) electronic text with or without images or sound in Portable Document Format (PDF) in an online publication (however, not just in supplementary material; see Note 7.2.2); in both cases with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

Note 4.2.1

If a manuscript is released electronically in stages (e.g., accepted manuscript, uncorrected proofs, corrected proofs without pagination, and final version with pagination), the final version with pagination is to be considered the “publication” for the purposes of this code.

Note 4.2.2

If an entire book is not peer-reviewed or a periodical is not consistently peer-reviewed, the article or chapter in which a name or nomenclatural act appears must be peer-reviewed in order to qualify as published.

Note 4.2.3

Approval of a work by a thesis or dissertation committee does not constitute peer review.

Note 4.2.4

The distribution before the publication date of Phylonyms: A Companion to the PhyloCode of any material (printed or electronic) does not constitute publication (see Art. 7.1).


For the purpose of Article 4.2, “online” is defined as accessible electronically via the World Wide Web.


Should Portable Document Format (PDF) be succeeded, a successor international standard format approved and communicated by the Committee on Phylogenetic Nomenclature would be acceptable.

Recommendation 4.4A

Publication electronically in Portable Document Format (PDF) should comply with the PDF/A archival standard (ISO 19005).

Recommendation 4.4B

Authors of electronic material should give preference to publications that are archived and curated in trusted online digital repositories, e.g., an ISO-certified repository. Digital repositories ideally should be in more than one country, preferably on different continents.


An electronic publication (see Note 4.2.1) must not be altered after it is published. Any such alterations are not themselves considered published. Corrections or revisions must be issued separately to be considered published.


The following do not qualify as publication: (a) dissemination of text or images solely through storage media (such as CDs, diskettes, film, microfilm, and microfiche) that require a special device to read; (b) theses and dissertations; (c) abstracts of articles, papers, posters, texts of lectures, and similar material presented at meetings, symposia, colloquia, or congresses, even if the abstract is printed in a peer-reviewed journal; (d) the placing of texts or images in collections or exhibits, for example, on labels (including specimen labels, even if printed) or information sheets; (e) the reproduction of hand-written material in facsimile, for example, by photocopy; (f) patents and patent applications; (g) newspapers and periodicals intended mainly for people who are not professional scientists, abstracting journals, trade catalogues, and seed exchange lists; (h) anonymous works. See also Article 7.3.