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New authorship question

Deb Britt debbritt at brownvm.brown.edu
Tue Oct 31 13:48:07 EST 1995

In article <1995Oct30.163346.65414 at cc.usu.edu>, sll2s at cc.usu.edu wrote:

> Since we are on the general topic of authorship, I have a question.  I am
> getting ready to publish my first paper and I was wondering whether anyone has
> any opinions as to using initials vs. full first/middle name, assuming the
> journal gives you a choice. The journal I'm publishing in does give a choice
> and I've decided to use my initials only.  My reasoning is that by only using
> my initials the reader cannot be biased as to the sex of the author(s) and
> evaluates the paper on its merits alone.  I don't know the frequency that such
> bias occurs or if it matters (if the reader met me he/she would find out soon
> enough that I'm female).
> Any thoughts,
> S. L. Osowski

I think you should use your whole name.  To me, using initials on a
publication implies that you are trying to hide something- you are trying
to hide your gender, but is that what the reader will assume?  The journal
has already judged the merit of the work and decided to publish it.  I hate
to think that there are scientists who would judge the mertis of a paper
based on the gender of its authors, but if people do think that way, we're
never going to change their minds by hiding behind initials.  In my mind,
when you put your name on a paper you are saying "This is me, this is my
work and I am proud of it!"


Deborah Britt, Ph.D.
Medical Oncology
RI Hospital/Brown University

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