another zoology authorship question

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Tue Mar 7 07:52:04 CST 2006

Hi Alan,
In the case you mention below, Scientist B might ask Scientist
A two things: would you be a co-author, and could you help with
publishing?  This happens often.  I think it a bit presumptive of
Scientist A to request co-authorship, but it happens.
Robin Leech

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Harvey" <aharvey at GEORGIASOUTHERN.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 7:20 AM
Subject: another zoology authorship question

> Greetings,
> In my experience, the right to publish descriptions of any new species
> is one of the perks, so to speak, for the taxonomist who identifies
> specimens, otherwise uncompensated, for others. Whether the collector
> is an author of the species is more or less at the discretion of the
> taxonomist, and I've seen it go both ways, depending on the individual
> taxonomist and on the relative expertise of the collector.
> Here's a situation that differs from the above. Scientist A collects a
> broad taxonomic array of specimens as part of a grant-funded project.
> He identifies most specimens himself, but sends some obscure material
> to experts for identification. One expert (Scientist B), in a country
> with somewhere between a struggling and a collapsing economic
> infrastructure, requests for and receives substantial financial
> assistance from Scientist A. He then determines that some of the
> material represents a new species.
> So, unlike the typical collector-expert scenario, Scientist A provided
> considerable financial support to Scientist B, and is feeling some
> pressure from the granting agency regarding productivity. Scientist A
> wants to know if it is appropriate to request a co-authorship for the
> new species on these grounds, and I frankly don't know what to say. It
> seems reasonable to me, but then again I've never had a collector
> request co-authorship with me (I usually name the species after the
> collector, now that I think about it).
> What say other taxonomists out there?
> Cheers,
> Alan
> Alan W. Harvey
> Associate Professor
> Department of Biology - 8042
> Georgia Southern University
> Statesboro, GA 30460
> phone (912) 681-5784
> fax (912) 681-0845

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