In zoological nomenclature, author citation refers to listing the person (or team) who first makes a scientific name of a taxon available. This is done in a scientific work while fulfilling the formal requirements under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature ("the Code"). According to Article 51.1 of the Code, "the name of the author does not form part of the name of a taxon and its citation is optional, although customary and often advisable." However recommendation 51A suggests "the original author and date of a name should be cited at least once in each work dealing with the taxon denoted by that name. This is especially important and has a unique character between homonyms and in identifying species-group names which are not in their native combinations". For the sake of information retrieval, the author citation and year appended to the scientific name, e.g. genus-species-author-year, genus-author-year, family-author-year, etc., is often considered a "de facto" unique identifier, although this usage may often be imperfect.
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