Nomenclator Zoologicus Volume 9 - errors in author names

Frank Krell f.krell at NHM.AC.UK
Mon Mar 27 22:19:22 CST 2006

authors of papers published in languages using a non-Latin alphabet mostly occur in two forms in the original paper, a transliteration as preferred by the author himself in an abstract in a language using Latin alphabet, and in the original language which can be transliterated in several standard ways. The way authors transliterate their own names are often rather non-standard, but I tend to respect the author's choice (it is their name after all). However, the spelling to be considered for proper bibliography is the spelling in the main article and not in the abstract.
As long as we don't have a unified global standard for transliterations (or do we?), the only way of getting a stable nomenclature of author names is creating a standardized list of author names (I would hate it if it neglects the preference of the author, but would reluctantly accept it). Are there any efforts for such a list in the zoological world? ZooBank might develop such a database as it goes along, but the problem are the old authors.



Dr Frank-T. Krell
Head, Coleoptera Division
Editor, Systematic Entomology
Department of Entomology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD, U.K.
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7942 5886
Fax +44 (0) 20 7942 5229
f.krell at

-----Original Message-----
From:   Taxacom Discussion List on behalf of Richard Jensen
Sent:   Mon 27/03/2006 21:12
Subject:             Re: [TAXACOM] Nomenclator Zoologicus Volume 9 - errors in author              names

It seems to me that the proper way to cite the name is the way it appeared in the
published paper.  That's the only way to ensure consistency.  If we start modifying
author's names as a function of the language in which we are writing, as opposed to
the language in which they wrote (or in which the paper was published), we will create
a horrible mess.

I see the same problem with pronunciations.  I have noticed that some people insist on
pronouncing many names according to the language of origin.  What I find interesting
is that they are invariably selective when doing so.  Many English speakers will
pronounce "Juan Rodriguez" as if they were speaking Spanish, even if Juan is a third
generation US citizen who has no trace of a hispanic accent.  But, these same
individuals make no effort to pronounce my name as it would be spoken in Danish or to
pronounce Henry Higgin's name as it would be pronounced by someone with a Cockney


Dick J

More information about the Taxacom mailing list