Template talk:Botanist

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Parenthetical referencingEdit

To avoid the problems of placement, I suggest that this template is modified to use parenthetical referencing -- PBS (talk) 10:33, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

It can't do that. Parentheses are an integral part of the referencing itself, and their presence or absence carries specific taxonomic meaning. Parentheses cannot be placed around the information without implying meaning that may not be intended. Also, many authors are referenced by abbreviation, but have multiple works that can be implied. That is, the abbreviation is a reference to the individual author, but not to a particular publication. The abbreviation L. could mean any of a number of publications by Linnaeus. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:11, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

More styling issuesEdit

It occurs to me that this template would be greatly improved if e.g. 'The standard author abbreviation Brot. is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name' were changed to e.g. 'The standard author abbreviation Brot. is used to indicate Félix Avelar Brotero as the author when citing a botanical name'. The name would be taken from the title of the article in the same manner that the template:commonscat does i.e. using the title as default if no name is provided. I think that the change would make the language less stilted, something that is certainly to be wished. Also, as Kaldari says "Wouldn't it work just as well if it were a simple inline template rather than a div with borders around it? Frankly I think it looks a bit odd in most articles." Paul venter (talk) 18:46, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I think adding the name would be a useful change.--Curtis Clark (talk) 01:57, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
As long as another parameter is available to replace the page name. Page titles for botanists can include parenthetical qualifiers to disambiguation them from other individuals, and there are some botanists with the same name who may need additional qualifying remarks. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:13, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
The pipe trick might work for the title, but I agree that there should be a replacement parameter.--Curtis Clark (talk) 18:39, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Could we do it and see whether it carries general approval? Paul venter (talk) 07:54, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I support adding the full name as well as removing the borders. I also agree that an override parameter would be useful. Kaldari (talk) 18:52, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
It looks like there's a small problem. This template was originally created before the use of Defaultsort, so for the first couple years of this template's existence it took a 2nd parameter to set the category sorting. So a large percentage of the articles that use this template already have a 2nd parameter set. I would like to propose that we start with a clean slate and have a bot remove all the old 2nd parameters (which are currently unused) before we make this change. Then if someone wants to override the name, they can put it as the 2nd parameter, like {{botanist|Berk.|Miles Joseph Berkeley}}. I can write the bot myself, I just need to get approval for it. In order to do that, I'll need to cite the discussion here, so please indicate if you think this is a good idea or not. Kaldari (talk) 19:19, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I believe the second parameter is necessary. If the template appears before the DEFAULTSORT magic word, which normally appears just before the categories, then it will not work on the category included in the template and will incorrectly sort the names by given name instead of last name. I'm also not convinced that there is agreement to remove the border, as there was no consensus the last time around. It was meant to stand out among the text, much the same as the function of an infobox. Rkitko (talk) 19:57, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the border is a separate issue. I'm not familiar enough with template construction to know whether there could be identified parameters, e.g. {{botanist|Berk.|name=Miles Joseph Berkeley}}.--Curtis Clark (talk) 02:40, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
@Rkitko: I'm pretty sure that isn't correct. The DEFAULTSORT magic word works for all categories included in the article regardless of whether they are defined before or after the magic word. For example, Ernst Haeckel gets sorted fine even though it does not include the 2nd parameter. Besides, the 2nd parameter isn't currently used by the template anyway. So even if it was necessary, we aren't using it. Kaldari (talk) 05:02, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
@Curtis Clark: I think it would be better to keep the template syntax simple and avoid using named parameters if possible. Per my reply to Rkitko above, I don't think there is any reason we need to keep the existing 2nd parameters from the pre-DEFAULTSORT days. Kaldari (talk) 05:02, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

It would seem that the discussion has come to an end. Would this be the appropriate time to suggest that as nobody was opposed to the idea, but only had reservations about the way a modified template would operate, that launching a test template might be a good idea? Paul venter (talk) 19:24, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Removing the borderEdit

I'm anxious to encourage use of this template whenever it is appropriate, for a number of reasons:

  • It ensures the appropriate category is always present.
  • It will allow easy updating if the URL for the official list of botanical author abbreviations changes.
  • It potentially makes some automated processing/checking possible, either via the existing behaviour of the template or via some future changes.

Ideally Category:Botanists with author abbreviations should be a subset of List of botanists by author abbreviation; in particular that subset for which there are Wikipedia articles. In practice I've discovered (by some semi-automated comparisons) this is not the case; about a third of those with articles at List of botanists by author abbreviation don't seem to be in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations. (It's hard to tell precisely because the list of botanists often uses a redirect as a wikilink which makes checking a bit harder.) There are also botanists in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations who are not in List of botanists by author abbreviation.

I've been adding {{botanist}} to articles I've found which should have it. However, in some cases it's clear that the "box" appearance of the template doesn't work, and I'm reluctant to replace a prose paragraph which already mentions the abbreviation by a "box". So I've added the parameter border to the template, so that by setting |border=0 the borders can be omitted. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:04, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

If Category:Botanists with author abbreviations should be a subset of List of botanists by author abbreviation, you would expect some number of the latter to not be in the former, right? Or am I misunderstanding?--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:12, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. Let me expand my explanation. If the lists matched perfectly, there would only be two groups:
  1. Botanists included in List of botanists by author abbreviation with an article, i.e. with a blue link. They would all be in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations because the article would contain the {{botanist}} template or at least the category.
  2. Botanists included in List of botanists by author abbreviation without an article, i.e. with a red link. They would not be in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations, because this would mean that there was an article.
As the lists don't match perfectly, there are three possible "mismatch groups":
  1. Botanists included in List of botanists by author abbreviation with a blue link but who are not in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations because the linked article doesn't use {{botanist}} or otherwise set up the category.
  2. Botanists included in List of botanists by author abbreviation with a red link but who must actually have an article because they are in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations.
  3. Botanists included in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations but who don't appear in List of botanists by author abbreviation.
I am working my way through a possible list of Mismatch Group 1, which is all that I could easily generate semi-automatically. If anyone feels enthusiastic, see User:Peter coxhead/Sandbox as of now; following the blue links should lead to an article with a {{botanist}} template – if not, add one. Remove checked entries from the list. (If the article already has a template, it's usually because the link at List of botanists by author abbreviation is to a redirect.)
Ideally the {{botanist}} template would somehow generate a complete list of the author abbreviations it has been used for. This list would then be easy to cross-check against List of botanists by author abbreviation because both lists would use the same unique key. Whether this is possible, I don't know; I'll have to ask one of the template programming experts. I can only cross-check the article titles in Category:Botanists with author abbreviations against the wikilinks in List of botanists by author abbreviation. The problem is that these don't have to match because the wikilinks can use a redirect title, so I have to check non-matches by following them, which is time-consuming. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:49, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Addition of paddingEdit

The idea of providing a version with no grey line above and below was to encourage use of this template by editors who dislike this effect and want to put the information into a "normal" paragraph. (Using the template is highly desirable because it ensures the presence of the relevant category and thus allows some automated processing.)

The recent change to add padding means that when |border=0 is specified, the information is not displayed in a normally spaced paragraph, but one with an extra space above and below. This was not the intention of the addition of the borderless version. I've reverted to the version without padding for now. If padding has consensus, then it needs to be added only when the border is not suppressed. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:15, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I added it simply due to the request at WP:VPT and have no comment on whether it should be included. --Izno (talk) 23:45, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah, ok. I'll ask the user who asked to comment here and if this is still wanted I'll add padding only if the border is present. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:29, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I was not aware of the borderless version. Can the code be written so the padding is only applied to the bordered version? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 20:23, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Trivially, and I believe I have done so. Peter, you are welcome to review on a live page or test page. --Izno (talk) 02:33, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, does not seem to give a white space on Hugh Wilson (New Zealand botanist), even with a purge. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 02:54, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I see the whitespace. Try bypassing your cache. --Izno (talk) 02:58, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Seems fine now. However, this template is used on a lot of pages, and I think it would have been better to have checked here first to see if there were any objections to the change to the bordered version. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:10, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

One person with two abbreviationsEdit

Does anyone know how to adjust {{Botanist}} to allow for two abbreviations? Please see Olav Johan Sopp#Botanist abbreviation for an example. I tried to deal with it, but it just doesn't look good or read well. Thanks, Hamamelis (talk) 08:35, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't know how to code this, but it seems desirable to have the url in IPNI specify the standard abbreviation, as for example:
where the nickname field in the template is used in the url. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:32, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  1. It's not difficult in principle to extend the existing template. Are there likely to be any cases with more than two abbreviations? The "obvious" syntax for the extended template, {{Botanist|abbr1|abbr2}}, can't be used because there are many pages with the botanist's name as the second parameter, which is ignored in the current version. One possibility is to create another template, so that the syntax would be e.g. {{Botanist2|abbr1|abbr2}}. I think that this is what I would prefer. The other would be to have optional extra parameter(s), e.g. {{Botanist|abbr1|alt=abbr2}}. Comments?
  2. Good idea to link directly to the search for the abbreviation. I've now altered the template to make this work. It seems ok in all the tests I've done.
Peter coxhead (talk) 16:24, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
As a demonstration, {{User:Peter coxhead/Test/T0|Johan-Olsen|Sopp}} generates In this case, the URL in the ref can't link to the abbreviation, so reverts to the search page generally. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:36, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Sminthopsis84, for your url idea, and great work, Peter, for getting it right, and your laboratory testing. I doubt that there's more than a handful of persons with two abbreviations, and even less that would ever get an article, so a separate template for just these few cases I think is appropriate. Agree that simply modifying the present template would invite confusing uses. Thanks a lot! Hamamelis (talk) 03:12, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  Done – {{Botanist2}} now deployed and used at Olav Johan Sopp#Botanist abbreviation. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:06, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Ruth Olive Schornhurst Breen has the abbreviations "Schornh." and "Breen", so will need the new template if she ever gets an article! Peter coxhead (talk) 09:11, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Nicely done. One could, if inclined, search for these systematically in IPNI. The field used is Name Notes, which appears with the Delimited (classic) format but not e.g., with Delimited (extended)). For the letter S, there are 7, some of them rather cryptic, but G.L.Sm. is also known as G.L.Merr., Sant'Anna as C.R.Leite, etc. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:59, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much! Sorry I haven't been able to access the internet lately (using my sister's here). Will use the new template shortly, as there is one article that I know that has this situation (when I find it, hopefully in a moment). Hamamelis (talk) 11:46, 5 May 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Author Query". International Plant Names Index.


The template doesn't generate the correct IPNI link when the author abbreviation includes spaces. See António Luiz Patricio da Silva Manso. mgiganteus1 (talk) 11:05, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

If you include a non-breaking space between the individual parts of the abbreviation (e.g. "Silva|Manso" = "Silva|non-breaking space|Manso") the ref will at least display properly on WP, but it still makes for an error at the IPNI link. Hamamelis (talk) 22:18, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

  Done Now fixed. See António Luiz Patricio da Silva Manso. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:17, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Proposed deletionEdit

I fail to understand why this template is being considered for deletion (Proposed deletion of Template: Botanist). To date any modifications considered necessary have been discussed here and acted upon. If there is a problem it can probably be fixed not deleted. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 22:55, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Mobile viewEdit

This template does not show up in the mobile view see for example [1]. I think its something to do with the

<div class="notice metadata" ...>

which are not displayed in mobile view. How necessary is the metadata class?--Salix alba (talk): 18:54, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I think it isn't necessary. My suggestion is that the template be changed so that the default is a plain text paragraph, i.e. without the borders which are not usual now (this is an old template and reflects old styles). I've already provided |inline= which can be used to present the text inline rather than as a separate paragraph. Comments? Peter coxhead (talk) 07:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Format of citationEdit

The recent edits formatted the citation like this: {{citation |mode=cs1|title=Author Page for James Bagnall in the |publisher=[[International Plant Names Index]] |url=http://www.ipni.org/ipni/advAuthorSearch.do?find_abbreviation=Bagn. }}, which produces:

which looks awful to me, since the "external link" icon and a full stop interrupt the text. Also the first part isn't actually the title of a published work so shouldn't be italicized; the IPNI is the website/work, so I think it's better to format it like this: {{citation |mode=cs1|title=Author Page for James Bagnall |website=[[International Plant Names Index]] |url=http://www.ipni.org/ipni/advAuthorSearch.do?find_abbreviation=Bagn. }} This produces:

However, this isn't the "author page for James Bagnall" – the author page is this one. The linked page is what the template originally said, namely the search page for "Bagn." I don't understand the rationale for the change. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:07, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

I agree with the first point, I had to run out to the store and it was the first thing I wanted to fix when I got home. On the second point I have been trying to figure out how to get to the 'Author Page' for some time, but one would need to know the id number. Any ideas? --Michael Goodyear (talk) 17:21, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
PS: I see other people had wanted to use the full name (see above)
Well, you could have an additional parameter, say |id=, and if this were set, then the citation would go to the "author page". Then {{botanist|Bagn.}} on the James Eustace Bagnall page would generate a reference like the original, i.e.
Although they're a bit clumsy, I think you do need the single quotes here, remembering that the search can be for strings including spaces, and we need so show that any terminal full stop is included in the search.
Then {{botanist|Bagn.|id=31179-1}} would generate a reference like this:
This can certainly be programmed. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:43, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
@Michael Goodyear: I've reverted to the older working version – the latest one didn't work correctly with |inline=yes. There's a version at Template:Botanist/sandbox with |id= added as discussed above; when we're happy with this, and if no-one objects, it can go live later. See Template:Botanist/testcases. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:09, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Parameter 2Edit

Looking at the usage of the template, many people have used as follows; {{botanist|C.Bab.|Babington, Churchill}}

which makes me wonder if earlier versions required entering both fields. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 17:33, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Ah, I see it did. But including the second parameter does no harm. --Michael Goodyear (talk) 17:34, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
The issue, as ever with templates, is maintaining backwards compatibility with all variants in the pages containing the template. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:43, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Reference displayEdit

The current output in the Reference section: "Author Query for 'author abbreviation'". International Plant Names Index.
is somewhat awkward, places an external link icon in the middle and is too long for sfn type referencing.

I am therefore proposing replacing it with a simpler output that places the link icon at the end and more closely resembles a sfn type display such as "Stearn 1956. Epimedium"

This would be in the form: IPNI. author abbreviation --Michael Goodyear (talk) 18:14, 4 December 2016 (UTC)


"The standard author abbreviation Foo is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name."

"Individual" is a very clunky way of saying "person". I think we can do better.

"The standard author abbreviation Foo is used to indicate {{PAGENAME}} as the author when citing a botanical name."


"The standard author abbreviation Foo is used to indicate this botanical author when citing a botanical name."

Perhaps also we should say "authority" instead of author?

"The standard author abbreviation Foo is used to indicate {{PAGENAME}} as the authority when citing a botanical name."

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 11:09, 7 May 2017 (UTC).

I agree it's clunky, but I'm not sure there's a better way.
  • The problem with using {{PAGENAME}} is that it will often produce a name that wouldn't be used at that point in the text. As a rather extreme example, consider Cornelis Rugier Willem Karel van Alderwerelt van Rosenburgh. I don't think that "The standard author abbreviation Alderw. is used to indicate Cornelis Rugier Willem Karel van Alderwerelt van Rosenburgh as the author when citing a botanical name." is less clunky that the current version. This is by no means an isolated example; Anatoly Nikolaievich Demidov, 1st Prince of San Donato and Joseph Marie Henry Alfred Perrier de la Bâthie are others.
  • If this approach were adopted, it needs to use {{PAGENAMEBASE}} to strip off the disambiguation in an example like Robert Brown (botanist, born 1773).
  • The ICN isn't online right now (some kind of server error), so I can't check, but my recollection is that "authority" isn't the right word – we use it as a general shorthand, but "author" is the right word I believe, which is why it's used in the articles – "Authority (botany)" is actually a redirect to "Author citation (botany)".
  • Using the variant "The standard author abbreviation Foo is used to indicate this botanical author when citing a botanical name" seems to me wrong when authoring a few botanical names was a very minor part of an individual's career; "this botanical author" is like saying "this botanist" – fine if the individual was a botanist or botanical taxonomist, but not otherwise. It seems odd to me to describe Stamford Raffles as a "botanical author".
Peter coxhead (talk) 12:58, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
I considered the author/authority question. I am thinking in terms of expressions like "binomial authority", also that someone may be credited as authority when they have not written on the subject.
We could use various pieces of template magic to deal with the other issues, for example display "person" instead of "PAGENAMEBASE" if we would get over 20 characters, and/or allow an overriding short-form name.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 21:21, 13 May 2017 (UTC).
Note that the person may not be the author of any binomials; could be just genera. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:48, 14 May 2017 (UTC)
This is a good example of why creating article text via template is a bad idea. Kaldari (talk) 14:45, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Reducing redundancyEdit

This template is redundant with the author_abbrev_bot parameter of the {{Infobox scientist}} template (in addition to the {{authority control}} template, and often the article text itself). I would like to propose that the additional functionality of this template (creating a reference linking to the IPNI and adding the article to Category:Botanists with author abbreviations) be added to {{Infobox scientist}}, so that botanist articles which include an infobox don't need this template. Kaldari (talk) 14:39, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

Although I'm generally in favour of removing redundancy (I used to teach this as part of software engineering, so I should hold this view!), I thought infoboxes are ideally summaries of what is in the article, i.e. the information in infoboxes should generally be duplicated in the text. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:12, 15 September 2019 (UTC)

How about a parameter to replace "this person" if desired?Edit

How about a parameter to replace "this person" (the default) with another text? The editor could simply specify the text to be used. I can't think of a good name for the parameter, but I think it would work best as freeform. Examples here are William Wright Smith and Vicki Funk:

Default for William Wright Smith (parameter blank or not used):

The standard author abbreviation W.W.Sm. is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.

Editor passes "Smith":

The standard author abbreviation W.W.Sm. is used to indicate Smith as the author when citing a botanical name.

Editor passes "him":

The standard author abbreviation W.W.Sm. is used to indicate him as the author when citing a botanical name.

Default for Vicki Funk (parameter blank or not used):

The standard author abbreviation V.A.Funk is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.

Editor passes "Funk":

The standard author abbreviation V.A.Funk is used to indicate Funk as the author when citing a botanical name.

Editor passes "her":

The standard author abbreviation V.A.Funk is used to indicate her as the author when citing a botanical name.

Eewilson (talk) 15:23, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

inline parameterEdit

Wouldn't it be better to assume inline=yes by default? Most editors don't bother to enter it, even if it seems to be intended in most cases I've seen. When not specifically using it, a border is added, which looks ugly and distracting (compare Pieter Willem Korthals, which has the border, and David L. Jones (botanist), which doesn't). There are comments on this talk page, dating back to 2012, which argue for this change. I have not seen any convincing arguments why it should be kept as it is. I have not seen a single case where the border is useful, or intended. I'd be interested to see one. Renerpho (talk) 03:49, 7 May 2022 (UTC)