Names in titles

Wolfgang Wuster w.wuster at BANGOR.AC.UK
Fri Feb 28 15:29:57 CST 1997

On Fri, 28 Feb 1997, richard a fagerlund wrote:

> I was told by one reviewer that the name of a new taxa should never
> appear in the title of the paper or even the abstract or introduction.
> The rationale was that the taxa is not officially named until the description
> later in the paper and the name cannot be used until officially described.
> I thought that was a bit silly.

One of the backgrounds for this is supposedly that titles or abstracts may
theoretically get published *before* the actual paper by abstracting
services etc. (Titles often get published as "Coming to you next month..."
- type adverts). Use of the name at that point would make the name into a
nomen nudum. If the abstract also contains a diagnosis, this would even
make the abstract itself the valid description of the species, not the
paper. Some journals have rules about the names of new species in
abstracts and titles.

However, I have a hard time figuring out why the name should not be used
in the introduction, which forms part of the body of the paper.

Hope this helps.

Wolfgang Wuster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
e-mail: w.wuster at   WWW:

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