multiple authors

Sat May 22 03:17:02 CDT 1999

> Some time ago someone thought that there
> would never be three authors to a
>  taxonomic name.

Just be grateful that the situation in systematics
is not as bad as in laboratory sciences. Articles routinely
have long lists of authors. I believe that the all-time
record is over 200, on a 2-page physics paper published
in Japan.
   I have seen herbarium labels with as many as 10
collectors listed, even for a small herb. This is in
my opinion rather silly. The point to giving a collector's
name on a herbarium label is not to give any kind of
credit to the collector or someone who may have been helping
her collect specimens. The point is to create some sort of
easy way to cite the specimen in print. To say simply
"Laferriere 3248 at CHSA" is a fast, convenient, unambiguous
way to refer to the specimen. Saying "Laferriere, Martinez,
Dumbrowski, Sanchez, Van Beethoven, Chang, Schneider, Smith,
O'Brian and Dax 3248 at CHSA" is not.

Joe Skywalker,


Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere

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