With all the technology at our disposal, why is it still difficult to get authors’ names right in journal articles? How is it that any name that doesn’t quite fit the basic ‘forename surname’ convention is immediately in danger of being mangled, switched around or omitted altogether? This problem has been explored by Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva in the most recent issue of ‘Scientometrics’ (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11192-024-05029-9). It’s obviously a subject close to his heart, as he has himself experienced these misinterpretations; the consequences for affected authors can often be far-reaching.

I am baffled by Western journal publishing’s insistence on transposing the given names and family names of Chinese, Japanese and Korean authors, given their huge and increasing contribution to the scholarly literature. Clearly, something needs to take place – beginning with greater awareness and adaptability – to embrace and handle these differences with more sophistication and respect.