[Taxacom] Authorities for trinomials

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Aug 25 16:19:08 CDT 2006

I agree this seems to be the intent of including authorship (as per the
structure of both major Codes); but assignment of Code-correct authorship,
and rendering of authorship in printed form (i.e., in publications) are not
quite the same thing.  The former involves specific rules; whereas the
latter involves (often inconsistent) convention of practice.  I agree that
the authorship is not intended (by the Codes) to point to the original
description per se; but certainly it is used that way by many biologists --
and more often than not, it can be a useful clue. And, of course, it's
useful for distinguishing homonyms.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Zander [mailto:Richard.Zander at mobot.org] 
> Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 11:15 AM
> To: Richard Pyle; taxacom
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Authorities for trinomials
> Actually, there have been efforts to associate the citation 
> of authority names with the need to find where the names were 
> published. This has been squashed, I understand, in favor of 
> giving "credit." Thus, any one authority may well be 
> someone's work buried in a large publication that usually 
> listed under another author's (or editor's) name. An 
> authority is given, as far as the Code is now concerned, not 
> a hint of place of publication but for a bit of recognition. 
> This is too bad.
> ******************************
> Richard H. Zander
> NOTE: NEW PHONE NUMBER 314-577-0276
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> PO Box 299
> St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> richard.zander at mobot.org
> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
> and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
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> ******************************
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
> Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 3:27 PM
> To: 'taxacom'
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Authorities for trinomials
> (snip)
> The only reason biologists have included authorships of names 
> in their publications (as far as I can tell) is to help 
> reduce ambiguity when confronted with homonyms, and/or as a 
> clue to where to look up the original description.  More and 
> more, electronic data sources are replacing printed 
> publications as the medium of communication among biologists. 
>  As such, taxon names will increasingly be tagged with 
> GUID/LSID identifiers, which will (ideally) reduce or 
> eliminate ambiguity altogether.
> Thus, it seems that issues of electronic data management will 
> begin to replace issues of conventional practice of 
> formatting names and their authors -- which is why I think 
> this question/problem cannot be decoupled from the electronic 
> data management realm.
> Aloha,
> Rich
> Richard L. Pyle, PhD
> Ichthyology, Bishop Museum
> 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
> Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
> email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/pylerichard.html
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