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Should I change my surname?

Deborah Merriam dmerriam at gpu2.srv.ualberta.ca
Mon Feb 6 23:49:06 EST 1995

Hello all, 

I am getting married this coming summer, and I'm trying to decide whether
to keep by birth name as-is or take my beloved's surname.  I am currently
working toward my M.Sc. (and hopefully my Ph.D.) in Experimental Medicine,
and I'm extremely fortunate to have a publication to my credit already
from my undergraduate research in a related field of lipid biochemistry.
My fiance is finishing up his M.A. in Sociology - so people assuming that
I'm actually his research assistant because we work in the same field
won't be a problem for me (a concern that one of my mentors in my
department brought up when I asked for her advice). My dilemma is more
straightforward: will changing my surname, now that I have published under
my "maiden" name, affect the way that my publication record is viewed down
the road? Are there other ways in which a change of surname can affect my

As I see it, my options are:
1 - keep my current surname for all purposes
2 - change my surname to coincide with my beloved's (and keep my maiden
name as a new middle name, if I choose)
3 - keep my name for business purposes, and use his for personal purposes
4 - hyphenate (an excellent idea except that our surnames sound hideous
together ;-)
5 - have *him* take *my* surname (but he has some publications, too)
6 - make up our own surname (cute idea, but completely impractical)

Thanks in advance for your advice. This is a wonderful newsgroup!

Deborah Merriam
dmerriam at gpu.srv.ualberta.ca


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