Genus as the species

Geoff Read at NIWA.CRI.NZ
Fri Apr 9 13:54:21 CDT 1999

Dear colleagues,

A reasonably prestigious journal, disguised here as  the Journal of
Abstruse Marine Experiments, allows its authors to refer to species by their
generic name alone. In the  example paper I have in mind there are many
tens of species within the genera other than the ones experimented upon. I
have to say that within context of this paper there was no confusion
created, the binomials were given a couple of times, and that it read quite
well. However,  I personally draw the line at a sloppy sentence like "Unlike
the other two species, [genus name] showed no significant responses ...".
My objection is  that  the genus name is not one species, but a collective
term for a large group of them, and the reponse of the rest is unknown and
may be quite different from the one experimented upon.

Is this journal editor atypical? Would you as referee approve an abstract
with this sentence: "We observed differences among the three species ...
although significant changes ... only occurred in [genus name] and [genus

  Geoff Read < at>

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