Naming a species after yourself (zoology)

Pekka T. Lehtinen pekleh at UTU.FI
Tue Mar 7 13:54:08 CST 2006

Gene Hall wrote:

> Could it be worse? Listing people as author's who have nothing to do with
> the research or writing of a paper? There's a good reason why papers
> include a 'Acknowledgements' section. That way you can even thank your dog
> for being a part of your life while conducting research and writing the
> paper instead of including the beast as an author.

> Gene

        I don't see the relevance of having someone listed as an author on a
>> paper if that person made no contribution to the research or writing of the
>> paper...
> Gene Hall
> Invertebrate Zoology Collections Manager
> CU Museum of Natural History
> UCB 265
> University of Colorado
> Boulder, CO 80309-0265
> Phone: 303.735.5262
> CU Museum:
> Research/CV:
> Ptiliidae:
> Coleopterists Society:

Dear taxacomers,
        Although the discussion was initiated about the ethics dealing with the
naming of taxa in honor of one of the authors, Gene was touching also an
ethical problem that is less difficult to observe, but completely
agreeing with the notes of Gene.
        In arachnology there is a famous, rather recent case, where two authors
have listed for the authorship of a big book, including numerous new
taxa and without any comment about the scientific role of these two
authors. Personally I know that the second author has neither taxonomic
nor any biological education. This foreign person simply made the
publication of this book possible in a less developed country with his
authority in the institution, where the research was conducted by the
first author.
        I have used the material of this book in my publications, always  with
hesitation in citing the authorship of the taxa described in that book.
Originally I had the meaning to add a descriptive note into all my
publications stating that the taxa should be cited according to the
formula "Smith in Smith & Jones", but up till now I have not done it,
simply as my position as a retired scientist is anyway quite poor and
every possibility to get also international problems should be carefully
        I donĀ“t know how common this kind of problems of "false" authorship for
taxonomic papers is worldwide, but I believe that it is probably not the
only one during the last 20 years.

        Pekka T. Lehtinen
        Retired commissioner of ICZN

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