Yeah, this is a pretty petty point, but what would this site be if it didn't pertain to pedantry?
In the last week of last year, a paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA on lizards in the latest Cretaceous and Palaeocene of North America (Longrich et al. 2012). The paper garnered itself a certain degree of media coverage because the authors chose to name a new genus after the current president of the United States, Barack Obama: see here and here, for instance. Because I was away for Christmas at the time, I've only just gotten the opportunity to look at the actual paper.
One thing immediately sprung out at me (and those of you familiar with my dribblings have probably already guessed what I'm about to say): this genus has not been validly published. The description is not in the body of the paper itself, it is in the online supplementary info. The printed section of the paper does include very brief diagnostic comments, but does not include an explicit designation of type material. Despite the recent decision by the ICZN allowing electronic-only publication, the supplementary info in Longrich et al. (2012) does not meet the requirements for valid electronic publication. It has not been registered with ZooBank, and it does not contain any indication of having been registered.'Obamadon gracilis' is hence an unavailable name, as are the other described taxa 'Pariguana lancensis' and 'Socognathus brachyodon'. Sorry. Once again, the space-saving requirements of a 'high-tier' science publication has shafted nomenclature.
I'd also be interested if anyone has comments on another potential problem. The supplementary info for Longrich et al. (2012) has been presented as a Microsoft Word document. I've no wish to argue the merits or otherwise of Microsoft Word per se—it's the word processing programme I generally use myself—but the ICZN requires that electronic publications be produced using a method that ensures 'widely accessible electronic copies with fixed content and layout'. PDF is not actually required, but is mentioned as an example of a format fulfilling this requirement. What about Word, though? Do you think a Word document can be regarded as 'fixed', or do you think that it is too easily altered after the fact?
Longrich, N. R., B.-A. S. Bhullar & J. A. Gauthier. 2012. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109 (52): 21396-21401.