reasonable consulting fees

Dale Parker aa514 at SFN.SASKATOON.SK.CA
Sun Dec 1 07:20:15 CST 1996

It seems that most of the people replying to the ? are from
universities and that they have a different perspective than mine.

Just a few points about the subject:

Point 1:  I  was surprised by the comments about the
rates expected.  I have a small taxonomic consulting business that
focusses on identifications of aquatic macroinvertebrates.  My clients
are academics, government, mining companies and larger environmental
consulting companies.  Based on my experience the 1996 rates for
this type of taxonomic work was around $12 to $14 Can/hour. I am still
losing contracts to people bidding lower than this and I have clients
grumbling that they think my prcies are too high. I have found that
competition for this type of work is increasing at a rapid rate and may
push the prices down even further.  For me to ask even $25/hour would
mean economic suicide.

Point 2:  I often get asked to "do" some samples for researchers.  When I
tell them the amount of time and the related costs they are in shock even
using my prices let alone $35 or $50/hour. Why do many ecological studies
seem to have large amounts of grant money for field work, conference
travel and the latest computer equipment but no money for taxonomic
work?  In many studies I have been involved with the identifications of
the specimens in the samples is obviously an after thought.

Point 3:  I have on a number of ocassions  been offered coauthorship for
work that I have done.  It is very refreshing to have the work
acknowledged especially when the taxonomic component of the research is

Well that is my 2 cents worth.  Thanks for reading

Precept of the Greek botanist Isodorus:
"If you do not know the names, the knowledge
of things is wasted."

Dale Parker, Ph.D.

e-mail aa514 at
       parkerd at

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