abbreviations for author names

Geoff Read at NIWA.CO.NZ
Fri Mar 10 08:33:48 CST 2006

> We found  that about 3/4 of the time authorship is not cited at all and
> that it  tends to cluster in those categories where one would expect it
> (Zoology, Ecology).   In most cases it simply is not done.

One would have to consider whether it was necessary in each case before
deciding if this is bad practice.  If paper writers can't even get  species
name spellings right then they're pretty hopeless. But I see it frequently -
letters transposed, sound alikes, ancient obsolete genera.  What sort of
refereeing are they getting? Is it the uninformed approving other uninformeds?
But there are other instances where spurious gravitas is added by including
the binominal author when the paper writer has more likely than not got the
identification wrong. If the ids are casual and not much better than guesses
anyway then I'd prefer writers not to include authors.

  Geoff Read < at>

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