What are we going to do about Copyright?

Andrew Whittington aew at NMS.AC.UK
Tue Nov 5 09:16:01 CST 1996

In reply to Barbara Ertter (Date: Mon, 4 Nov 1996 15:12:37 -0800)

I think alpha taxonomists do get sufficient credit through the linking
of a binomen with the authority who named it.  That situation can last
for hundreds of years.  Even the authority of a synonymised name persists
in catalogues and revisions.  That these authorities are not quoted by
biologists other than a revisor of a taxon, or perhaps in more stringent
journals at first mention of the taxon, is the real issue.  I have worked
with an editor who deletes the authorities from the titles of papers
in the journal under his control and is haphazard about their
inclusion in the text (hence my resignation inter alia from the position of

I go along with Curtis Clark:
"Perhaps editors of systematics journals should start requiring *all*
references to be in the Literature Cited, including the nomenclatural
ones. Otherwise, we are institutionally devaluing our own work."

In fact, in revisions of taxa, *all* references are quoted - at least in the
way I was trained (Thank you Denis!).  Under each taxon heading, in
smaller font, is a list of all names known (with authorities) for that
taxon, including any synonymies (old or new). The references to those
authorities all appear in the reference list.  Do authors not do this?
But is it up to the Editor - it appears to me that the onus is on the author.

Andy Whittington
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
DDI: 0131 247 4261
FAX:  0131 220 4819
aew at nms.ac.uk

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