A question about species authors

Ron at Ron at
Fri Jun 4 16:16:50 CDT 2004

John Landolt asked:

> In determining the names of persons who may be included as authors of
proposed new species,  is it ever permissible to include the name of a
person who was instrumental in providing financial, logistical support and
editorial assistance in the discovery, collection and manuscript preparation
associated with a proposed new taxon, even if this particular person is not
a recognized taxonomist for the particular group of organisms in question
(other authors listed as authors are so recognized).


The key word there to me is "permissible" (vs. ethical).  Thus, I take that
to mean _permitted_ by the ICBN.  In which case, I would look to see if that
Code specifically address this issue - pro or con.   If not, then in
actuality one could pick random names from the phone book and put them down
as co-authors.   Sure, no one would do that, but IF not disallowed by the
Code it COULD be done and once published, those would be the names of the

Dick Jensen wrote:

I believe Lammers and Petit have provided appropriate replies.  I agree with
Lammers reservation - if the individual simply financed the research, but
played no other role (in the field, identification, preparation of ms.,
etc.), than I would consider including that person as an author
inappropriate.   snip


I am sure everyone agrees with this as a rule of thumb, or ethical policy.
The key words in this reply being "appropriate / inappropriate".    But this
is irrelevant to the original question IF the term "permissible" was meant
in relation to the specific rules of the ICBN.   IF a code does not forbid
something, I don't think even editors and reviewers can do much about it.
Plus, in relation to multi-authorship,  many times some of the junior
authors names are not known to anyone.  So who would know what "part" they
played in the process - who'd know the difference.

I would think that a senior author (who obviously has a lot, and more than
anyone else, invested in the work) could put anyone he wanted alongside his
name as co-author if he/she so chose.   Others could think what they wanted,
but isn't it author's choice?

Ron Gatrelle

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