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author (noun, pl. authors,nomenclature term) – (1) in general: the person who originally created any work of art (e. g., an image, illustration etc.) or literature (e. g., any text, publication, website etc.); (2) in nomenclature, the person that describes a new taxon or makes a new combination. Some treatments erroneously use the term "authority", however, somebody may indeed be an authority in the taxonomy of a particular group without having described that particular group, i. e., an author is presumably an authority for the group he described, but any authority is not necessarily the author of that particular group. In the Linnaean system, authors are generally part of any name below and including the rank of a genus. They must be cited along with these names in any taxonomic treatment of that particular group. This requirement is a necessary consequence of the principle of priority. Without the reference to a particular author, a name cannot be dated and then it is impossible to check the validity of that name. The situation is unfortunate because it provides strong initiative for taxonomists to publish new taxa trying to achieve some fame by naming species. (3) for databases: see record author.

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