Nomenclator Zoologicus Volume 9 - errors in author names

David Remsen dremsen at MBL.EDU
Mon Mar 27 16:55:10 CST 2006

I mentioned a month or so ago that we had started compiling an author
thesaurus that maps misspellings, abbrevations, variants,
concatenations etc.  We require this within our name recognition
algorithms so we can get a handle on whether a new name-author
combination is truly new or a variant of something we already have
seen before.

We created this as a web service for our own use and it has an
interface for multiple users to add and manage names.  It currently
has over 130,000 entries and we are trying to assemble some resources
to collate the authors within Index Animalium and Nomenclator
Zoologicus within it.

There is an interface with documentation here

and a good example is that of Linnaeus himself at

David Remsen

On Mar 27, 2006, at 4:44 PM, Chris Lyal wrote:

> A standard list of authors is what we need, true, but the list must
> enable synonymies to enable us to match variants (and see where we
> cannot be sure).  Not only are there different transiterations but
> authors themselves sometimes spelled their names differently at
> different times.  There are also some standard (and not-so-
> standard) abbreviations that have been used.  The botanists have
> gone down the line to an extent with the botanist database at
> Harvard University (
> botanist_index.html).  I suspect that many of us either maintain
> our own author lists, or could generate one fairly rapidly, with a
> standard set of metadata, perhaps using the BiogML schema elements
> (although I'm not clear that this enables name synonyms).  Anyone
> fancy hosting such a list?  Anyone doing it already?
> Cheers,
> Chris
>       -----Original Message-----
>       From: Taxacom Discussion List on behalf of Frank Krell
>       Sent: Mon 27/03/2006 22:19
>       Cc:
>       Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Nomenclator Zoologicus Volume 9 - errors in
> author names
>       Dick,
>       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.
>       Cheers
>       Frank
>       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
> cv-3566.html
>       -----Original Message-----
>       From:   Taxacom Discussion List on behalf of Richard Jensen
>       Sent:   Mon 27/03/2006 21:12
>       Cc:
>       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
>       accent.
>       Cheers,
>       Dick J

David Remsen
uBio Project Manager
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, MA 02543

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