Include author citations for taxa

Can we please also have an author field. This is a can of worms, but often there are the same species name but with different authors that are unrelated concepts.
Curating these is a pain, because it is easy to be unaware of another concept when reviewing names.
In future, guidelines and standards and conditions for these can be mapped out, but it will be useful to have this as an option now.


I’m not sure I either love or hate this idea. While tracking it has value, it does seem duplicative of work done better elsewhere on the web.

Can you clarify which author you mean ? For example when the taxa change was made to move the genus of Downy Woodpecker, are you referring to Linnaeus who first described this species, or whomever the author(s) were of the paper that implemented the transfer ?

If it is the author of the paper, should that not be included in a well cited source ?

If authors are to be maintained, it seems better to build it into the taxa page. There will be taxa changes where it is unavailable, or not needed (spelling errors, duplicates etc).


I think you could/should start a separate feature request for including author citations attached to each taxon.


For the homonym issue (same name, different basionyms, authors, concepts), I wonder if International Plant Names Index (IPNI) (or equivalent Kew portal) has a public API we could tap into, to at least check for homonyms and pop up a warning any time there is ambiguity in application of the name?

[response edited based on new topic context]

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A quick note that I moved these replies to their own topic.


i may be in the minority here but i don’t want the ‘author’ field to display in observations or other places where the name is listed. It should be in the taxonomy tab of each taxa and nowhere else. I find it to be clutter that clogs up the screen and messes with copy or pasting. So at least make it an option to turn off if you add it, please.

In my opinion it’s a piece of metadata that’s useful only to taxonomists and will just annoy everyone else.


I would just use Wikidata to add the info to iNat. The connections are mostly already done.

FWIW, Wikidata is preeeeeetty bad about actually storing the taxon author qualifier of taxon name (it is present for Quercus robur but missing on the first two taxa I checked from my dashboard, Cecropis daurica and Evenus regalis). So this might be one thing that’s not ideal to delegate to them, unless we’re planning to just fix it on their side.

Ah, I think it’s because I’m usually looking at plants, and there must have been an import from IPNI at some point.