Dead co-authors (1)

The Anole Annals (which are ‘written and edited by scientists who study Anolis lizards’) posed an intriguing question: “how far one could take posthumous co-authorship. What’s stopping me from including Darwin as a co-author on my next manuscript?

In the paper that triggered this dilemma — Poe et al. (2009) — Poe and his still living co-author Velasco list two deceased co-authors: the Harvard herpetologist Ernest Edward Williams (1914-1998) and Kenneth Ichiro Miyata (1951-1983), Harvard herpetologist (and one of the most famous fly-fishermen in the world).

The Online Ethics Center (OEC) also addressed The Deceased Author, evaluating the case of ‘a recent publication in an established biomedical journal, contributed by multiple authors from a respected university, [that] lists one of the authors as Dr. Mortis, who has been dead for the past four years’.

Please send (proof of) your favorite long dead co-author to kees.moeliker [at]

Thanks to Jonathan B. Losos (@JLosos) for pointing us at the existence of dead co-authors.