Naming a species after yourself (zoology)

steve Lingafelter slingafelter at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Mon Mar 6 13:48:47 CST 2006

In this case, reject the paper.  Authorship of species should not include those who did not contribute to their description, just as authorship of papers should not include those who did not contribute to writing it.

Steven W. Lingafelter, Ph. D.
Systematic Entomology Lab, USDA
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institute PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Phone: 202-382-1793
Email: slingafe at

>>> Robin Leech <releech at TELUSPLANET.NET> - 3/6/06 1:37 PM >>>
Hi Brian,
In this case, the third author is merely being honored.  He had
nothing at all to do with any aspect of the paper or the
research that went into it.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Brown" <BBrown at NHM.ORG>
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: Naming a species after yourself (zoology)

>It should be a matter of course that such a naming shouldn't be done by
the >authors.

I have a different view. In the situation that Robin describes, where
the third author possibly worked on the biology or some other aspect,
there seems to be nothing wrong to me with naming the species for
him/her. We are going to be faced with naming hundreds of thousands to
millions of currently unknown organisms, and believe me, coming up with
new names in species-rich groups can be a time-consuming (and to some
extent a time-wasting) task. As long as this name is unique within the
genus, I wouldn't have any problem with Robin's situation if I was a
reviewer. Lets not make this a cast in stone law.

As far as "Cartwrightia cartwrighti Cartwright" is concerned, in today's
social climate most would see this as unacceptable, but as Doug said
there is nothing prohibiting it (other than the author's contemplation
of what his colleagues would think of such egomania).

Brian V. Brown
Curator, Entomology Section
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90007, USA
Telephone 213 763-3363
FAX 213 746-2999
bbrown at

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