Naming a species after yourself (zoology)

Stephen Gaimari SGaimari at CDFA.CA.GOV
Mon Mar 6 13:09:37 CST 2006

I tend to agree with Rich. Contribution to a work is something initially measured by the authors themselves. Sometimes these contributions are not clear cut, but may be as simple (as was pointed out already) as having collected and recognized the species as new and passing it on to the appropriate person. As a reviewer, giving your opinion that a paper should be rejected because of questionable author contribution is then available for the editor to weigh, and perhaps to address with the authors. In the author's "response to comments", is it enough for the author to respond by saying the questionable author collected and recognized the new species? Is is enough if they read the manuscript and corrected a few spelling errors? What rules should be applied to measure authorship. It may seem obvious to some, but I don't think many journals have hard and fast rules about qualitative level of contribution, leaving it up to author integrity I suppose. One other thing to note, if papers are going to be rejected based upon author contributions, there are going to be many, many rejections of papers from graduate students with their major advisors as co-authors. Is providing the funding a reason for authorship? 

As for the naming of a species after oneself, it is tacky, but that's about it. I suppose an editor could use their authority to tell an author that they won't accept such tackiness. But if this is a case of Xus smithi Jones & Schmidt in Jones, Schmidt & Smith, I see no real problem.


Dr. Stephen D. Gaimari
Senior Insect Biosystematist, Supervisor
Co-Curator, California State Collection of Arthropods

Plant Pest Diagnostics Lab
California Department of Food and Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA 95832-1448, USA

916-262-1131 (tel.)
916-262-1190 (fax)
sgaimari at 

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