Naming a species after yourself (zoology)

Scott Monks smonks at UAEH.EDU.MX
Mon Mar 6 16:33:22 CST 2006

on 3/6/06 3:18 PM, Richard Pyle at deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG wrote:

>> The major issue here is allowing a person to be listed as an
>> author when that person made no contribution to the paper being published.
> I guess in my (atypical?) view, authors should be those who contributed to
> the *science*; whether or not their fingers drove the keystrokes that
> hammered out the MS.  And I believe strongly that the science of alpha
> taxonomy begins in the field.  If a person discovers new species in nature,
> and brings it to the attention of another person who is taxonomically more
> familiar with the group for detailed comparative analysis, then both of
> these people contributed to the science of the paper being published, in my
> opinion.

    This is a common practice as well in parasitological work--often the
collector is a physician, herpetologist, etc., that collected the material,
fixed it properly, and then passed it on a parasitologist for study.

    However, I would like to throw another factor in for consideration: What
if a person collected some material, worked up a preliminary manuscript with
much of the taxonomic and systematic information but not in a format
acceptable for publication (may even have been rejected for editorial but
not scientific reasons).  The material and the manuscript passes to you and
you clean up the grammatical and organizational problems, add your personal
scientific contribution, etc.

    Should the person who first wrote the ms. be a co-author?

    What if he/she has gone on the the "laboratory in the sky"?

    If that person is acceptable as a co-author, would it be acceptable (not
tacky!) to name the species after him/her?

This is not a theoretical question, but something that actually happened to
me--I didn't solve the question and just put the material aside pending the
termination of other more "expedient" publications (After all, the other
person hasn't told me that he is getting impatient for publication!!).



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Dr. Scott Monks
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo (UAEH)
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB)
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Hidalgo, México.

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