At the plenary session of the Judicial Commission at the 1999 IUMS-BAM International Congress in Sydney changes were made to Rule 61 of the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria to prevent extensive grammatical or orthographic corrections to names and epithets that had been included on the Approved Lists, the Validation Lists and the Notification Lists. These changes were implemented by the addition of a note to Rule 61. However, that note appears to be retroactive and has an undesirable effect, appearing to prohibit some of the changes already published. Changes need to be made to Rule 61 to limit the retroactive effects of the note.
A number of recent Requests for an Opinion have cited Rule 18c of the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria as the Rule governing setting a time limit on the search for a neotype strain. This Rule only governs what happens when a neotype is proposed and not what happens when the original type appears to have been lost and a neotype is not found. It is appropriate to emphasize this issue and to examine what other alternatives are available.
The International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes contains 48 Notes to the General Considerations, the Principles, the Rules and the Recommendations. However, the formal status of these Notes is not defined in the Code. Therefore, we here propose an emendation of General Consideration 6 stating that the Notes are intended to clarify the preceding text and are an integral part of that text.
In view of the current difficulty to make minor typographical or orthographic corrections to incorrectly formed names of taxa, we propose a change in the text of the Note to Rule 61 of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes, to be applied retroactively from August 2009. The proposed change will enable the List Editors of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology and others to correct minor errors without having to refer each case to the Judicial Commission of the International Committee for Systematics of Prokaryotes.