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I enjoyed Professor Giacaman's heartfelt plea for online submission
systems to be made more inclusive. She makes some excellent points.
I just wanted to add/correct a point of information about the use of
middle names -- although these are common throughout Europe and the US,
not everybody has one. Although I was baptised, my parents chose to give
me only one name, so I am just Elizabeth Wager, and my father has only one
first name (John). Like Professor Giacaman, my lack of middle name
occasionally causes problems for computerised systems and I have sometimes
resorted to X as a mysterious middle initial.
I have also been incensed (on other people's behalf) by online
systems which do not permit the use of accents for names -- I've come
across these when submitting abstracts for conferences and I think it is
the height of rudeness not to permit authors to spell their names in the
I also know that British writers sometimes get into terrible muddles
with compound names (eg Spanish) and those that put the family name before
the given name (eg Chinese). Is there a set of helpful guidelines for the
creators of websites and bibliographies (eg an ISO standard) which could
guide us? If not, somebody ought to write one!