Open source

a broad concept article for open-source

Open source is a term denoting that a product includes permission to use its source code, design documents, or content. It most commonly refers to the open-source model, in which open-source software or other products are released under an open-source license as part of the open-source-software movement. Use of the term originated with software, but has expanded beyond the software sector to cover other open content and forms of open collaboration.

Contents

  • 1 Origins

    • 1.1 The open-source model and open collaboration
    • 1.2 Open-source license
    • 1.3 Open-source software code
    • 1.4 “Open”
    • 1.5 “Open” versus “free” versus “free and open”
  • 2 Software
  • 3 Agriculture, economy, manufacturing and production
  • 4 Science and medicine

    • 4.1 Open science
  • 5 Media
  • 6 Organisations
  • 7 Procedures
  • 8 Society
  • 9 References
  • 10 See also

Origins

The simple English phrase “open source” has sporadically occurred in books dating back hundreds of years. For example, in 1685, Thomas Willis wrote in The London Practice of Physick, Or The Whole Practical Part of Physick that fluid from a wound “flow’d forth in a plentifull Stream as from an open Source, till it was drawn from the whole Legg…”[1] However, the modern meaning of the term “open source” was first proposed by a group of people in the free software movement who were critical of the political agenda and moral philosophy implied in the term “free software” and sought to reframe the discourse to reflect a more commercially minded position.[2] In addition, the ambiguity of the term “free software” was seen as discouraging business adoption.[3][4]
The group included Christine Peterson, Todd Anderson, Larry Augustin, Jon Hall, Sam Ockman, Michael Tiemann and Eric S. Raymond. Peterson suggested “open source” at a meeting[5] held at Palo Alto, California, in reaction to Netscape’s announcement in January 1998 of a source code release for Navigator. Linus Torvalds gave his support the following day, and Phil Hughes backed the term in Linux Journal. Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, initially seemed to adopt the term, but later changed his mind.[5][6] Netscape released its source code under the Netscape Public License and later under the Mozilla Public License.[7]

Raymond was especially active in the effort to popularize the new term. He made the first public call to the free software community to adopt it in February 1998.[8] Shortly after, he founded The Open Source Initiative in collaboration with Bruce Perens.[5]

The term gained further visibility through an event organized in April 1998 by technology publisher Tim O’Reilly. Originally titled the “Freeware Summit” and later known as the “Open Source Summit”,[9] the event was attended by the leaders of many of the most important free and open-source projects, including Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Eric Allman, Guido van Rossum, Michael Tiemann, Paul Vixie, Jamie Zawinski, and Eric Raymond. At that meeting, alternatives to the term “free software” were discussed. Tiemann argued for “sourceware” as a new term, while Raymond argued for “open source”. The assembled developers took a vote, and the winner was announced at a press conference the same evening.[9]

Many large formal institutions have sprung up to support the development of the open-source software movement, including the Apache Software Foundation, which supports community projects such as the open-source framework Apache Hadoop and the open-source HTTP server Apache HTTP.

The open-source model and open collaboration

The open-source model is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration,[10][11] meaning “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike.”[10] A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. The open-source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of proprietary code. The model is used for projects such as in open-source appropriate technology,[12] and open-source drug discovery.[13][14]

The open source model for software development inspired the use of the term to refer to other forms of open collaboration, such as in Internet forums,[15]mailing lists[16] and online communities.[17] Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including bitcoin, TEDx, and Wikipedia.[18]

Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics.[10] It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums,[15]mailing lists,[16] Internet communities,[17] and many instances of open content, such as creative commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation.[19]

Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization.[20] Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike.” [10] This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.

An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym).[21] As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as “collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes).”[22]

Open-source license

Open source promotes universal access via an open-source or free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint.[23][24] Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet.[25] The open-source software movement arose to clarify copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues.

An open-source license is a type of license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions.[26][27] This allows end users and commercial companies to review and modify the source code, blueprint or design for their own customization, curiosity or troubleshooting needs. Open-source licensed software is mostly available free of charge, though this does not necessarily have to be the case. Licenses which only permit non-commercial redistribution or modification of the source code for personal use only are generally not considered as open-source licenses. However, open-source licenses may have some restrictions, particularly regarding the expression of respect to the origin of software, such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and a copyright statement within the code, or a requirement to redistribute the licensed software only under the same license (as in a copyleft license). One popular set of open-source software licenses are those approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) based on their Open Source Definition (OSD).

Open-source software code

Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use or modification from its original design. Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community. Code is released under the terms of a software license. Depending on the license terms, others may then download, modify, and publish their version (fork) back to the community.

“Open”

The early instance of “open source software code” and its common usage parlance has truncated from “open source code” to “open source” and further down to “open” as a concept. Additional words after “open” help specify its usage (i.e. open door vs open source), and “open source” is outgrowing older less accurate narrow definitions.[citation needed]

Initially it referred to code but “open source” may now be interpreted as “open to the public”, “open concept”, or “open origins” with the same intent permitting duplicate or evolved versions, open or proprietary, with or without restrictions. Regardless whether “open” or “open source” is applied to virtual intellectual properties and theoretical licences or to physical processes and products the “open source” concept expands across new developments as the term adapts and evolves as with all language.[citation needed]

“Open” versus “free” versus “free and open”

Free and open-source software (FOSS) or Free/libre and open-source software (FLOSS) is openly shared source code that is licensed without any restrictions on usage, modification, or distribution.[citation needed] Confusion persists about this completely unrestricted definition because the “Free”, also known as “Libre”, refers to the freedom or the product not the price, expense, cost, or charge For example, “being free to speak” is not the same as “free beer”.[citation needed]

Conversely, the term “open source” is often wrongly interpreted as merely “having the source code published”, without any other rights granted.[28]

“Free and open” should not to be confused with public ownership (state ownership), deprivatization (nationalization), anti-privatization (anti-corporate activism), or transparent behavior.[citation needed]

  • GNU

    • GNU Manifesto
    • Richard Stallman
  • Gratis versus libre (no cost vs no restriction)

Software

  • List of free and open-source software packages
  • Open-source license, a copyright license that makes the source code available with a product

    • The Open Source Definition, as used by the Open Source Initiative for open source software
  • Open-source model, a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration
  • Open-source software, software which permits the use and modification of its source code
  • History of free and open-source software
  • Open-source software advocacy
  • Open-source software development
  • Open-source-software movement
  • Open-source video games

    • List of open-source video games
  • Business models for open-source software
  • Comparison of open-source and closed-source software
  • Diversity in open-source software
  • MapGuide Open Source, a web-based map-making platform to develop and deploy web mapping applications and geospatial web services

    Not to be confused with OpenStreetMap (OSM), a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world.

Agriculture, economy, manufacturing and production

  • Open-source appropriate technology (OSAT), is designed for environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, economic, and community aspects
  • Open-design movement, development of physical products, machines and systems via publicly shared design information, including free and open-source software and open-source hardware, among many others:

    • Open Architecture Network, improving global living conditions through innovative sustainable design
    • OpenCores, a community developing digital electronic open-source hardware
    • Open Design Alliance, develops Teigha, a software development platform to create engineering applications including CAD software
    • Open Hardware and Design Alliance (OHANDA), sharing open hardware and designs via free online services
    • Open Source Ecology (OSE), a network of farmers, engineers, architects and supporters striving to manufacture the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS)
    • OpenStructures (OSP), a modular construction model where everyone designs on the basis of one shared geometrical OS grid
  • Open manufacturing or “Open Production” or “Design Global, Manufacture Local”, a new socioeconomic production model to openly and collaboratively produce and distribute physical objects
  • Open-source architecture (OSArc), emerging procedures in imagination and formation of virtual and real spaces within an inclusive universal infrastructure
  • Open-source cola, cola soft drinks made to open-sourced recipes
  • Open-source hardware, or open hardware, computer hardware, such as microprocessors, that is designed in the same fashion as open source software

    • List of open-source hardware projects
  • Open-source product development (OSPD), collaborative product and process openness of open-source hardware for any interested participants
  • Open-source robotics, physical artifacts of the subject are offered by the open design movement
  • Open Source Seed Initiative, open source varieties of crop seeds, as an alternative to patent-protected seeds sold by large agriculture companies.

Science and medicine

Open science

Open science is said[by whom?] to be the antithesis of the blind faith in Scientism, and has the potential to be a practical defense against proprietary (closed) pseudoscience.[citation needed]

It has been argued[by whom?] that peer-reviewed science, even computer science, had already been open until Apple Computer, Inc. v. Franklin Computer Corp. forced programmers to explicitly license products as Free or Open Source.[citation needed] As noted by Rob Landley, “The copyright issue changed in 1983, when the Apple v Franklin ruling extended copyright protections to binary code… Before that decision, source code was copyrightable but binaries weren’t, so companies shipped source code to increase their ownership of the code in the eyes of the law. If you just shipped precompiled binaries, you had no rights the law would recognize”.[29]

Open science uses the scientific method as a process of open discovery of shared verifiable knowledge.[citation needed] This contrasts with proprietary science, where the processes and research are not publicly shared, which means that others cannot be certain that rigorous studies have been and are conducted, proper precautions taken, and adequate warnings given;[citation needed] and “closed science”, where papers are obscured behind paywalls or published in private journals.[citation needed]Open science uses the scientific method as a process of open discovery of shared verifiable knowledge.[citation needed]

  • Open science, the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional

    • Open science data, a type of open data focused on publishing observations and results of scientific activities available for anyone to analyze and reuse
    • Open Science Framework and the Center for Open Science
    • Open Source Lab (disambiguation), several laboratories
    • Open-Source Lab (book), a 2014 book by Joshua M. Pearce
    See also: The antithesis of open science is Scientism, a blind faith in profit driven proprietary (closed) science and marketing (ie. proprietary software, proprietary protocols, fields of private biomedical engineering, biological patents, chemical patents (drugs), minimal sufficiency of disclosure, etc.).
  • Open-notebook science, the practice of making the entire primary record of a research project publicly available online as it is recorded
  • Open Source Physics (OSP), a National Science Foundation and Davidson College project to spread the use of open source code libraries that take care of a lot of the heavy lifting for physics
  • Open Source Geospatial Foundation
  • NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA), an OSI-approved software license
  • List of open-source software for mathematics
  • List of open-source bioinformatics software
  • List of open-source health software
  • List of open-source health hardware

Media

  • Open-source film, open source movies

    • List of open-source films
    • Open Source Cinema, a collaborative website to produce a documentary film
  • Open-source journalism, commonly describes a spectrum on online publications, forms of innovative publishing of online journalism, and content voting, rather than the sourcing of news stories by “professional” journalists

    • Open-source investigation
    See also: Crowdsourcing, crowdsourced journalism, crowdsourced investigation, trutherism, and historical revisionism considered “fringe” by corporate media.
  • Open-source record label, open source music
  • “Open Source”, a 1960s rock song performed by The Magic Mushrooms
  • Open Source (radio show), a radio show using open content information gathering methods hosted by Christopher Lydon
  • Open textbook, an open copyright licensed textbook made freely available online for students, teachers, and the public
  • The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust, a 2012 book by former Marine officer and ex-CIA secret operative Robert David Steele

Organisations

  • Open Source Initiative (OSI), an organization dedicated to promote open source
  • Open Source Software Institute
  • Journal of Open Source Software
  • Open Source Day, the dated varies from year to year for an international conference for fans of open solutions from Central and Eastern Europe
  • Open Source Developers’ Conference
  • Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a non-profit corporation that provides space for open-source project
  • Open Source Drug Discovery, a collaborative drug discovery platform for neglected tropical diseases
  • Open Source Technology Group (OSTG), news, forums, and other SourceForge resources for IT
  • Open source in Kosovo
  • Open Source University Meetup
  • New Zealand Open Source Awards

Procedures

  • Open security, application of open source philosophies to computer security
  • Open Source Information System, the former name of an American unclassified network serving the U.S. intelligence community with open source intelligence, since mid-2006 the content of OSIS is now known as Intelink-U while the network portion is known as DNI-U
  • Open-source intelligence, an intelligence gathering discipline based on information collected from open sources

    Not to be confused with Open-source artificial intelligence such as Mycroft (software).

Society

  • Open-source curriculum (OSC), an online instructional resource that can be freely used, distributed and modified while inviting feedback and participation from developers, educators, government officials, students and parents
  • Open-source governance, open source in government

    • Open politics (sometimes known as Open-source politics), a political process that uses Internet technologies to provide a rapid feedback mechanism between political organizations and their supporters
    See also: Parliamentary informatics and Civic technology.
  • Open-source religion in the creation of belief systems
  • Open-source unionism, an innovative model for labor union organization

References

  1. ^ Thomas Willis, The London Practice of Physick, Or The Whole Practical Part of Physick (1685), p. 173.
  2. ^ O’Mahony, Siobhan Clare (2002). “The emergence of a new commercial actor: Community managed software projects”. Stanford, CA: Stanford University: 34–42..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  3. ^ Eric S. Raymond. “Goodbye, “free software”; hello, “open source“. The problem with it is twofold. First, … the term “free” is very ambiguous … Second, the term makes a lot of corporate types nervous.
  4. ^ Shea, Tom (1983-06-23). “Free software – Free software is a junkyard of software spare parts”. InfoWorld. Retrieved 2016-02-10. “In contrast to commercial software is a large and growing body of free software that exists in the public domain. Public-domain software is written by microcomputer hobbyists (also known as “hackers”) many of whom are professional programmers in their work life. […] Since everybody has access to source code, many routines have not only been used but dramatically improved by other programmers.”
  5. ^ abc Tiemann, Michael (19 September 2006). “History of the OSI”. Open Source Initiative. Archived from the original on 1 October 2002. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  6. ^ “Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software”. fsf.org. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
  7. ^ Muffatto, Moreno (2006). Open Source: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Imperial College Press. ISBN 978-1-86094-665-3.
  8. ^ “Goodbye, “free software”; hello, “open source“. Catb.org. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
  9. ^ ab van Rossum, Guido (1998-04-10). “Open Source Summit”. Linux Gazette. Archived from the original on 29 December 2013. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  10. ^ abcd Levine, Sheen S., & Prietula, M. J. (2013). Open Collaboration for Innovation: Principles and Performance. Organization Science, doi:10.1287/orsc.2013.0872
  11. ^ Raymond, Eric S. (2001). The cathedral and the bazaar: musings on Linux and Open Source by an accidental revolutionary. OReilly. ISBN 978-0-596-00108-7.
    [page needed]
  12. ^ Pearce, Joshua M (2012). “The Case for Open Source Appropriate Technology”. Environment, Development and Sustainability. 14 (3): 425–431. doi:10.1007/s10668-012-9337-9.
  13. ^ “Science 2.0 is here as CSIR resorts to open-source drug research for TB” Business Standard, 1 March 2009
  14. ^ “Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria Consortium
  15. ^ ab Lakhani, Karim R., & von Hippel, Eric (2003). How Open Source Software Works: Free User to User Assistance. Research Policy, 32, 923–943 doi:10.2139/ssrn.290305
  16. ^ ab Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Majchrzak, Ann (2008). Knowledge Collaboration Among Professionals Protecting National Security: Role of Transactive Memories in Ego-Centered Knowledge Networks. Organization Science, 19(2), 260-276 doi:10.1287/orsc.1070.0315
  17. ^ ab Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Majchrzak, Ann (2011). Knowledge Collaboration in Online Communities. Organization Science, 22(5), 1224-1239, doi:10.1287/orsc.1100.0614
  18. ^ “Open collaboration leading to novel organizations – KurzweilAI”.
  19. ^ Levine, Sheen S.; Michael J. Prietula (2013-12-30). “Open Collaboration for Innovation: Principles and Performance”. Organization Science. 25 (5): 1414–1433. arXiv:1406.7541. doi:10.1287/orsc.2013.0872. ISSN 1047-7039.
  20. ^ Riehle, D.; Ellenberger, J.; Menahem, T.; Mikhailovski, B.; Natchetoi, Y.; Naveh, B.; Odenwald, T. (March 2009). “Open Collaboration within Corporations Using Software Forges” (PDF). IEEE Software. 26 (2): 52–58. doi:10.1109/MS.2009.44. ISSN 0740-7459.
  21. ^ “About”. The International Symposium on Open Collaboration.
  22. ^ Dirk Riehle. “Definition of Open Collaboration”. The Joint International Symposium on Open Collaboration. Retrieved 2013-03-26. Open collaboration is collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes).
  23. ^ Lakhani, K.R.; von Hippel, E. (June 2003). “How Open Source Software Works: Free User to User Assistance”. Research Policy. 32 (6): 923–943. doi:10.1016/S0048-7333(02)00095-1. hdl:1721.1/70028.
  24. ^ Gerber, A.; Molefo, O.; Van der Merwe, A. (2010). “Documenting open-source migration processes for re-use”. In Kotze, P.; Gerber, A.; van der Merwe, A.; et al. Proceedings of the SAICSIT 2010 Conference — Fountains of Computing Research. ACM Press. pp. 75–85. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.1033.7791. doi:10.1145/1899503.1899512. ISBN 978-1-60558-950-3.
  25. ^ Weber 2004[page needed]
  26. ^ “Brief Definition of Open Source Licenses”. Open Source Initiative. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  27. ^ Popp, Dr. Karl Michael (2015). Best Practices for commercial use of open source software. Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand. ISBN 978-3738619096.
  28. ^ Richard Stallman. “Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software”. gnu.org. Retrieved 2019-02-17. However, the obvious meaning for the expression “open source software”—and the one most people seem to think it means—is “You can look at the source code.” That criterion […] includes many programs that are neither free nor open source.
  29. ^ Landley, Rob (2009-05-23). “23-05-2009”. landley.net. Retrieved 2019-01-24. So if open source used to be the norm back in the 1960’s and 70’s, how did this _change_?

See also

  • Access to Knowledge movement (A2K)
  • Cooperative
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Decentralization
  • Decentralized computing and Decentralized web

    • Distributed data storage
    • Distributed file systems
    • Category:Free network-related software
    • Category:Internet privacy software
    • Internet privacy
    • Privacy software
  • Free Beer, originally Vores øl, and open source beer
  • Free content, or Libre knowledge
  • Free-culture movement
  • Free Knowledge Foundation
  • Free software movement (FSM) or (FOSSM) or (FLOSS)
  • Freedom of contract
  • GNU

    • GNU Manifesto
    • Richard Stallman
  • Gratis versus libre (no cost vs no restriction)
  • Mass collaboration
  • OpenBTS (Open Base Transceiver Station), a software-based GSM access point, allowing standard GSM-compatible mobile phones to be used as SIP endpoints in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks
  • Open catalogue
  • Open collaboration
  • Open Compute Project
  • Open content, open license, and open content license
  • Open data
  • Open Data Institute
  • Open education

    • Open educational resources
  • Open format
  • Open Knowledge International
  • Open license, aka Open copyright license
    • Copyright
    • Copyleft
    • Creative Commons
    • Copyright infringement
    • Cory Doctorow
    • Digital freedom, or Digital rights
    • Digital rights management
    • Electronic Frontier Foundation
    • Copyright activism
    • Internet activism
    • Internet Party (disambiguation)
    • Pirate Parties International
    • Anti-copyright notice
    • Opposition to copyright
    • Fair use
  • Open publishing
  • Open research
  • Open standard (open standardization), a publicly available standard with various associated usage rights and may have design process properties, though no single definition exists so interpretations vary with usage
  • Paywall
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P)

    • Anonymous P2P systems in which participants remain anonymous
    • List of P2P protocols
    • Peer production

      • Commons-based peer production
    • Peer-to-peer banking
    • Peer-to-peer carsharing
    • Peer-to-peer file sharing
    • Peer-to-peer lending
    • Peer-to-Peer Protocol (P2PP)
    • Peer-to-peer renting
    • Private peer-to-peer
    • Semantic P2P networks
    • Social peer-to-peer processes

      • P2P economic system
    • Wireless ad hoc network
  • Radical transparency
  • Scientific method and Scientism
  • Sharing economy

    • Types of sharing
  • Social collaboration
  • Solidarity economy
  • Tactical Technology Collective
  • Transparency (behavior)
  • Voluntary association
  • Voluntaryism and/or Agorism


Am I conveying disrespect if I omit my gender pronoun from a conference nametag?

The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

64

Situation

I have an academic conference coming up, and on the registration site we are instructed to optionally enter a personal gender pronoun (PGP) to appear on our name tags. To enter it or not to enter it?


Thoughts

My personal view is the following: if someone does include a PGP on their tag, then I understand that they’d like me to know something about their identity in order to respectfully converse with/about them. In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction. So, I respect and appreciate that the organizing committee is being progressive and inclusive in this sense.

As for myself, I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag. I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think of the self in those terms. I realize that there is a painfully obvious response to this; I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident. But, if I ask myself if I would strongly object if someone did… I dunno, I suppose I’d prefer that didn’t happen.

We can look at another dimension of identity, ethnicity, to try and isolate exactly what I’m saying. I’m Italian, which means I have dark skin and hair. Fairly often in life I’ve encountered people who make the false assumption that I’m actually Mexican or middle eastern. I may correct them if it was appropriate to do so, but really I’ve never been offended or uncomfortable by it; I simply don’t care enough about identity. If there was an optional field for filling in your ethnicity on a conference nametag, I wouldn’t have any desire to complete that either, even though I do know that mine is often mistaken.

A potential flaw with this analogy is that gender is ubiquitous in conversation. The same is not true of ethnicity necessarily. Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me. It wouldn’t make me more comfortable to walk around knowing that information about my identity can be obtained on sight (be it gender or anything else).


Note:

I do not want to be misunderstood as attempting to assert my beliefs onto others. Even though I don’t put strong value in identity, I’m not saying that identity is objectively not valuable; I respect that to some people identity is of enormous value, and I appreciate that those people put their PGP on their name tag so that I can treat them the way they’d like to be treated.


Question

Now, my real question is not necessarily about the agreeableness of the position I’ve described above (though I’m happy to discuss it). Rather, I’d like to ask if the act of omitting the PGP from the name tag itself, even if well motivated/justified, is inadvertently signaling any disrespect. At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP. Now, I don’t feel compelled to conform for conformity’s sake, but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

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  • 1

    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

    – ff524
    Jan 30 at 17:16

  • 1

    Can’t see why everyone would need pgp. With a name on the tag, what’s wrong with using that name. Fred said so and so. It was Fred’s comment I picked up on. With no pgp it works.

    – Tim
    Feb 4 at 11:04

  • 1

    Your question does not make it clear what your feelings are one way or the other. You start out by saying you “simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity”, but you also feel the need to point out you’re an Italian male and you’d refer not to be misidentified. It’s this duality that results in the wide range of different answers I’m afraid.

    – Mr Lister
    Feb 5 at 11:29

64

Situation

I have an academic conference coming up, and on the registration site we are instructed to optionally enter a personal gender pronoun (PGP) to appear on our name tags. To enter it or not to enter it?


Thoughts

My personal view is the following: if someone does include a PGP on their tag, then I understand that they’d like me to know something about their identity in order to respectfully converse with/about them. In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction. So, I respect and appreciate that the organizing committee is being progressive and inclusive in this sense.

As for myself, I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag. I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think of the self in those terms. I realize that there is a painfully obvious response to this; I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident. But, if I ask myself if I would strongly object if someone did… I dunno, I suppose I’d prefer that didn’t happen.

We can look at another dimension of identity, ethnicity, to try and isolate exactly what I’m saying. I’m Italian, which means I have dark skin and hair. Fairly often in life I’ve encountered people who make the false assumption that I’m actually Mexican or middle eastern. I may correct them if it was appropriate to do so, but really I’ve never been offended or uncomfortable by it; I simply don’t care enough about identity. If there was an optional field for filling in your ethnicity on a conference nametag, I wouldn’t have any desire to complete that either, even though I do know that mine is often mistaken.

A potential flaw with this analogy is that gender is ubiquitous in conversation. The same is not true of ethnicity necessarily. Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me. It wouldn’t make me more comfortable to walk around knowing that information about my identity can be obtained on sight (be it gender or anything else).


Note:

I do not want to be misunderstood as attempting to assert my beliefs onto others. Even though I don’t put strong value in identity, I’m not saying that identity is objectively not valuable; I respect that to some people identity is of enormous value, and I appreciate that those people put their PGP on their name tag so that I can treat them the way they’d like to be treated.


Question

Now, my real question is not necessarily about the agreeableness of the position I’ve described above (though I’m happy to discuss it). Rather, I’d like to ask if the act of omitting the PGP from the name tag itself, even if well motivated/justified, is inadvertently signaling any disrespect. At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP. Now, I don’t feel compelled to conform for conformity’s sake, but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

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Controversial Post — You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements. You may use answers ONLY to provide a solution to the specific question asked above. Moderators will remove debates, arguments or opinions without notice. See: Why do the moderators move comments to chat and how should I behave afterwards?

  • 1

    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

    – ff524
    Jan 30 at 17:16

  • 1

    Can’t see why everyone would need pgp. With a name on the tag, what’s wrong with using that name. Fred said so and so. It was Fred’s comment I picked up on. With no pgp it works.

    – Tim
    Feb 4 at 11:04

  • 1

    Your question does not make it clear what your feelings are one way or the other. You start out by saying you “simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity”, but you also feel the need to point out you’re an Italian male and you’d refer not to be misidentified. It’s this duality that results in the wide range of different answers I’m afraid.

    – Mr Lister
    Feb 5 at 11:29

64

64

64

9

Situation

I have an academic conference coming up, and on the registration site we are instructed to optionally enter a personal gender pronoun (PGP) to appear on our name tags. To enter it or not to enter it?


Thoughts

My personal view is the following: if someone does include a PGP on their tag, then I understand that they’d like me to know something about their identity in order to respectfully converse with/about them. In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction. So, I respect and appreciate that the organizing committee is being progressive and inclusive in this sense.

As for myself, I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag. I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think of the self in those terms. I realize that there is a painfully obvious response to this; I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident. But, if I ask myself if I would strongly object if someone did… I dunno, I suppose I’d prefer that didn’t happen.

We can look at another dimension of identity, ethnicity, to try and isolate exactly what I’m saying. I’m Italian, which means I have dark skin and hair. Fairly often in life I’ve encountered people who make the false assumption that I’m actually Mexican or middle eastern. I may correct them if it was appropriate to do so, but really I’ve never been offended or uncomfortable by it; I simply don’t care enough about identity. If there was an optional field for filling in your ethnicity on a conference nametag, I wouldn’t have any desire to complete that either, even though I do know that mine is often mistaken.

A potential flaw with this analogy is that gender is ubiquitous in conversation. The same is not true of ethnicity necessarily. Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me. It wouldn’t make me more comfortable to walk around knowing that information about my identity can be obtained on sight (be it gender or anything else).


Note:

I do not want to be misunderstood as attempting to assert my beliefs onto others. Even though I don’t put strong value in identity, I’m not saying that identity is objectively not valuable; I respect that to some people identity is of enormous value, and I appreciate that those people put their PGP on their name tag so that I can treat them the way they’d like to be treated.


Question

Now, my real question is not necessarily about the agreeableness of the position I’ve described above (though I’m happy to discuss it). Rather, I’d like to ask if the act of omitting the PGP from the name tag itself, even if well motivated/justified, is inadvertently signaling any disrespect. At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP. Now, I don’t feel compelled to conform for conformity’s sake, but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

share|improve this question

Situation

I have an academic conference coming up, and on the registration site we are instructed to optionally enter a personal gender pronoun (PGP) to appear on our name tags. To enter it or not to enter it?


Thoughts

My personal view is the following: if someone does include a PGP on their tag, then I understand that they’d like me to know something about their identity in order to respectfully converse with/about them. In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction. So, I respect and appreciate that the organizing committee is being progressive and inclusive in this sense.

As for myself, I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag. I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think of the self in those terms. I realize that there is a painfully obvious response to this; I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident. But, if I ask myself if I would strongly object if someone did… I dunno, I suppose I’d prefer that didn’t happen.

We can look at another dimension of identity, ethnicity, to try and isolate exactly what I’m saying. I’m Italian, which means I have dark skin and hair. Fairly often in life I’ve encountered people who make the false assumption that I’m actually Mexican or middle eastern. I may correct them if it was appropriate to do so, but really I’ve never been offended or uncomfortable by it; I simply don’t care enough about identity. If there was an optional field for filling in your ethnicity on a conference nametag, I wouldn’t have any desire to complete that either, even though I do know that mine is often mistaken.

A potential flaw with this analogy is that gender is ubiquitous in conversation. The same is not true of ethnicity necessarily. Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me. It wouldn’t make me more comfortable to walk around knowing that information about my identity can be obtained on sight (be it gender or anything else).


Note:

I do not want to be misunderstood as attempting to assert my beliefs onto others. Even though I don’t put strong value in identity, I’m not saying that identity is objectively not valuable; I respect that to some people identity is of enormous value, and I appreciate that those people put their PGP on their name tag so that I can treat them the way they’d like to be treated.


Question

Now, my real question is not necessarily about the agreeableness of the position I’ve described above (though I’m happy to discuss it). Rather, I’d like to ask if the act of omitting the PGP from the name tag itself, even if well motivated/justified, is inadvertently signaling any disrespect. At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP. Now, I don’t feel compelled to conform for conformity’s sake, but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

etiquette collaboration gender

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edited Jan 30 at 13:06

terdon

645613

645613

asked Jan 29 at 22:57

AnonymousAnonymous

530138

530138

Controversial Post — You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements. You may use answers ONLY to provide a solution to the specific question asked above. Moderators will remove debates, arguments or opinions without notice. See: Why do the moderators move comments to chat and how should I behave afterwards?

Controversial Post — You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements. You may use answers ONLY to provide a solution to the specific question asked above. Moderators will remove debates, arguments or opinions without notice. See: Why do the moderators move comments to chat and how should I behave afterwards?

  • 1

    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

    – ff524
    Jan 30 at 17:16

  • 1

    Can’t see why everyone would need pgp. With a name on the tag, what’s wrong with using that name. Fred said so and so. It was Fred’s comment I picked up on. With no pgp it works.

    – Tim
    Feb 4 at 11:04

  • 1

    Your question does not make it clear what your feelings are one way or the other. You start out by saying you “simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity”, but you also feel the need to point out you’re an Italian male and you’d refer not to be misidentified. It’s this duality that results in the wide range of different answers I’m afraid.

    – Mr Lister
    Feb 5 at 11:29

  • 1

    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

    – ff524
    Jan 30 at 17:16

  • 1

    Can’t see why everyone would need pgp. With a name on the tag, what’s wrong with using that name. Fred said so and so. It was Fred’s comment I picked up on. With no pgp it works.

    – Tim
    Feb 4 at 11:04

  • 1

    Your question does not make it clear what your feelings are one way or the other. You start out by saying you “simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity”, but you also feel the need to point out you’re an Italian male and you’d refer not to be misidentified. It’s this duality that results in the wide range of different answers I’m afraid.

    – Mr Lister
    Feb 5 at 11:29

1

1

Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

– ff524
Jan 30 at 17:16

Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

– ff524
Jan 30 at 17:16

1

1

Can’t see why everyone would need pgp. With a name on the tag, what’s wrong with using that name. Fred said so and so. It was Fred’s comment I picked up on. With no pgp it works.

– Tim
Feb 4 at 11:04

Can’t see why everyone would need pgp. With a name on the tag, what’s wrong with using that name. Fred said so and so. It was Fred’s comment I picked up on. With no pgp it works.

– Tim
Feb 4 at 11:04

1

1

Your question does not make it clear what your feelings are one way or the other. You start out by saying you “simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity”, but you also feel the need to point out you’re an Italian male and you’d refer not to be misidentified. It’s this duality that results in the wide range of different answers I’m afraid.

– Mr Lister
Feb 5 at 11:29

Your question does not make it clear what your feelings are one way or the other. You start out by saying you “simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity”, but you also feel the need to point out you’re an Italian male and you’d refer not to be misidentified. It’s this duality that results in the wide range of different answers I’m afraid.

– Mr Lister
Feb 5 at 11:29

14 Answers
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93

It seems to me that the way to signal respect is, quite simply, by literally respecting people’s choice as to how they wish to present themselves to the world. So I’d advise you to take care to refer to people using their preferred pronoun as they chose to list it on their name tag (or using common sense if no pronoun is indicated). And don’t insult or think ill of anyone for making a choice that you disagree with regarding their pronoun, or regarding a choice not to list a pronoun for that matter.

While this advice may seem too obvious to be helpful, my point is that you are also entitled to the same respect that I just advised you to accord others. When you fill that form, you are choosing how you wish to present yourself to the world. Any choice that you make is 100% legitimate and deserves to be respected, including not wanting to list a pronoun. You don’t owe anyone a reason or an explanation of what (if anything) you are trying to “signal”. And anyone who professes to support other people’s rights to choose a pronoun to describe themselves, by extension supports your right to describe yourself however you choose to. Thus, I don’t see how any such person can take offense to your decision without being inconsistent and somewhat of a hypocrite. It doesn’t mean there aren’t such people who would find a way to imbue your action with a meaning it doesn’t have and take offense, but if there are I’m pretty sure you can safely ignore them, or, better yet, if challenged by them you can easily (and in a friendly way, I suggest) explain to them why they are misguided to be offended.


Edit: To address some of what’s been said in the comments and other answers, here are a couple more thoughts that occurred to me:

  1. Someone (@vaelus) said my answer sidesteps the question since it focuses on whether people should be offended, but “doesn’t advise on how likely it actually is for people to be offended.” That is correct. The reason why I chose to focus on this aspect is that there are situations where any action we take is likely to offend or annoy someone. Arguably most of life is like that, since the world unfortunately has many unreasonable people. Here too, I expect that some people will likely be annoyed also by the inclusion of pronouns on name tags, and might specifically be annoyed with OP if they were to take the action of including one. So it’s a Catch 22, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t sort of situation. Therefore in my opinion the correct way to make decisions about tricky dilemmas like this is to base your actions on logic, and to be at peace with your own choices and be prepared to defend them if challenged. “Will people be offended?” is simply the wrong question to ask.

  2. A lot of people are focusing on what OP will be “signaling” with each of the various choices that are available to them. And yet I find it amusing and interesting that almost everyone with an opinion is reading the “signal” a bit differently from everyone else. So, if the signal is such that 10 people look at it and each one is “reading” a different meaning into it (and appearing pretty confident that their reading is the correct one) isn’t that a sign that there actually isn’t any signal there to interpret, or that if there is then it is an extremely weak one at best? (Moreover, this is after we read OP’s very detailed explanation of what their opinion actually is! No signal is even necessary in this case.) So again, I think the focus on the signal is misguided. As @vladhagen said in another answer, the pronoun field is optional, and optional means precisely that. The only signal that not including a pronoun legitimately sends is “I chose to exercise my right not to include a pronoun.”

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

    – ff524
    Jan 30 at 17:17

49

At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP.

I suspect your refusal in this might come off more of rejecting the idea of PGPs rather than choosing not to have your own, which is at least mildly rude.

You describe yourself as looking like a cishet man (I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident.), which – fairly or unfairy – I think would make people more likely to interpret a blank gender field as a rejection, rather than “no pronoun preferred.” You may have to be explicity about your support for PGPs.

I’m curious, what would you do if you were in a meeting and everyone went around and said “names and pronouns please”? Would you still say “I don’t care, call me what you want”?

but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

Putting either binary pronoun down wouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of gender binarism. As far as I know, there are not separate pronouns for people who are proponents of a gender sepectrum yet identify as a member of the traditional genders.

Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me

Yet, you do plan on wearing a nametag with your name on it, right?


On the whole, I wouldn’t go so far as to say leaving an optional field blank is disrespectful (if it was mandatory, I would say it was rude), but if only for the first reason, I suggest you do it.

Keep in mind that normalizing sharing pronouns is as much for your comfort as for those who feel compelled to share theirs, either because theirs are unusual or because they don’t look “typically” masculine or feminine. The reason we go around in a meeting and ask for pronouns is so one trans person (for example) doesn’t feel called out because they chose to name their pronouns, but no one else did.

You say you don’t have the desire to include a PGP on your nametag. Unless you truly desire not to have one, put one on. Maybe try “they,” if you don’t feel “he” works for you.

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  • 2

    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

    – ff524
    Jan 30 at 17:19

  • 2

    Folks – please use Academia Chat (or the specific chat room for this question) for longer, non-clarifying discussion. Enormous off-topic comment threads make it very difficult for visitors to determine if the comments are useful or just noise.

    – eykanal
    Jan 31 at 21:27

39

In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction

People with non-binary pronouns do benefit from this kind of measure, but it’s also helpful for some people who do have “he” or “she” pronouns which are not immediately obvious. This can include transgender people and those who are just plain androgynous.

I used to get addressed as “ma’am” on a regular basis. On one occasion when travelling in the USA they selected me for a random search and called for a female officer, even though they could have just looked at my ticket to see my first name. It still happens occasionally in my forties. I’m not bothered by it, but other people might be, and in my experience the people who make the mistake are often mortified when they realise. Pronoun badges etc. can help avoid that kind of awkwardness.

However, if only the non-gender-conforming people are wearing pronoun badges (or stating their pronouns in online profiles, etc. etc.) that can become uncomfortable. Being NGC is sometimes risky – I’ve been yelled at in public by a stranger who was angry because he couldn’t immediately tell my gender, stared at for using the “wrong bathroom”, and plenty of folk have had far worse experiences. When other folk also use pronoun badges/etc. it helps defuse this; it establishes the idea that giving your pronouns is a normal thing and doesn’t have to flag you as a weirdo.

So, if you do choose to include your pronouns on your badge, you will be helping to make things a little more comfortable for the folk who need to include them.

But if the vast majority of folk at this conference are doing it, then one more or less is unlikely to make much difference, and it’s unlikely that anybody would take it as an affront. What’s important is that it’s common practice, not that it’s universal.

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    30

    One of the strongest things you can do as a privileged ally is to use your position of privilege to erode systems of oppression.

    While being explicit about your PGPs are optional for this conference, that optionality is really only available to folks in a position of privilege. Your ability to say “I don’t have to worry about it” is not something available to others.

    I think that leaving your PGP blank sends a signal that you’re comfortable with your privilege. Taking the opportunity to normalize the sharing of PGPs and thereby drawing others into what is “normal” seems to be a signal more in line with the views that you expressed regarding inclusivity.

    share|improve this answer

    • 7

      This one. Offering your preferred pronouns signals that you respect your colleagues pronoun choices. Whether you feel like you should or not, doing so anyway (at no cost to you) sets an example that others will hopefully follow.

      – kmm
      Jan 30 at 17:53

    23

    Any time we visibly violate a social norm, other people notice, and will interpret that non-comformity through their own lens of understanding.

    Whether abstaining from the practice is worth the possible misinterpretations is an individual judgment of conscience and practicality.


    Leaving the information out is signalling something, however inadvertently. Exactly what is open to interpretation, but it is a signal. Moreover if, as you say, the majority of participants are including the information then including the information has become a social norm for this event. That means that omitting the information would violate this social norm, and including it would conform to the norm. In these circumstances, the signal sent by omitting pronouns from your name tag will be much stronger than the signal sent by including the information.

    As an analogy, consider names. I’m not particularly attached to my given name. I don’t hate it and don’t have a better name in mind, I just don’t identify with it very strongly. If people misspell it or mispronounce it or mistake it for something else it doesn’t really bother me. I guess you could say I don’t think of myself in terms of my name. But if I’m at an event where given names on name tags are the norm I still write it on a tag and slap it on my shoulder. Omitting the name tag would be confusing and potentially disconcerting to other people who are looking for that information. Wearing a name tag but leaving it blank would be even worse: that clearly looks like a STATEMENT of some sort, even if I only meant that “you can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner” as my grandfather liked to say. Using my title and/or surname likely looks stuffy.

    Now, names are not a highly contentious and emotive topic in my area, so at best I would be considered eccentric for omitting my given name, and at worst a crank or a snob. On the other hand, when I do include my name no one assumes that I am making a strong statement in favor of my name or declaring, with Andrew Carnegie, “that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” As one person-wearing-a-name tag in a sea of others, the main thing I’ve signaled is “here is a person who knows the name tag etiquette of this event, whose name is ___.”

    In the case of personal pronouns, the topic is currently contentious and emotive. That means that if you omit the information when most others are including it the perceived message is likely to be more contentious. At best people might assume you are oblivious, at worst that you are actively dismissive or contemptuous of the practice. You may find people gently asking if you’ve forgotten something, or becoming slightly cooler to you after glancing at your tag—or sidling up to you to “commiserate” about the horrible practice of including pronouns on name tags.

    If you do include the information, you will also be signalling something. If you were the only person at the event to include pronouns on your name tag then that inclusion would be a violation of the event’s norms. In that case, the message might be interpreted as a protest against gender binarism or a personal quirk, or could just be baffling for individuals who have never seen the practice. But in this case you would be conforming to the social norm, which generally goes unnoticed—when was the last time you looked up in class and thought “Hey! That person is wearing pants! And SHOES!!!”1? So for the vast majority of conference attendees, the message you convey by including pronouns would simply be “here is a person who understands the name tag etiquette of this event, and who prefers ___ pronouns.”


    1Unless, of course, you come from a place where “pants” means the intimate garment worn under clothing or the norm is some type of clothing other than western dress or are a time-traveller from the Victorian era, in which case seeing a (female) student in pants might well be a shocking violation of the social norm.

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    • 2

      The main difference between names and pronouns is that in overwhelming majority of cases the pronoun can be inferred by simple observation, whereas a name cannot, so the pronoun information is almost always redundant and unnecessary, while the name one is almost always necessary (for strangers at least)

      – Maxim
      Jan 31 at 21:05

    • 3

      @Maxim In a community where folks are trying hard not to make assumptions about gender, pronouns become much less obvious and more necessary in order for strangers to feel comfortable addressing you. However, the larger point is that failing to conform to a social norm is more likely to be perceived as an overt message than conforming to that norm, and that message may not be the intended one. Whether the benefits of avoiding the norm (in terms of staying true to conscience, for example) outweigh the potential drawbacks of other folks’ reactions isn’t something we can answer for the OP.

      – 1006a
      Jan 31 at 22:42

    • As a less “logical” example: At my institution, we’re supposed to wear our school’s color on Wednesdays. About half the staff, almost all of the administrators, and maybe ten percent of faculty do so. In that atmosphere, I feel comfortable not wearing the color (it’s not my favorite or most flattering color), and no one ever questions me about it. But if “the vast majority” of faculty, students, and staff were participating, I’d have to think harder about whether my dislike of the color was worth the message(s) I would be sending by not wearing it.

      – 1006a
      Jan 31 at 22:47

    • 1

      Good points, and good comments, @1006a.

      – paul garrett
      Jan 31 at 23:12

    • With the clarification it makes more sense, I find that for me at least the “orange” example conveys the message more clearly, as it helps focus on conformity vs non-conformity and not on the nature of the act itself

      – Maxim
      Feb 1 at 0:03

    22

    Not really disrespectful, but perhaps inadvertently signalling that you yourself don’t have to worry about such things, because society’s default works for you. Or, as often happens, signalling that due to your good fortune you are oblivious to the whole issue, etc. If you’d like to instead signal your awareness, I’d think do indicate your preferred pronouns.

    (For what it’s worth, I need to get around to systematically doing this on my web pages…)

    share|improve this answer

    • 33

      How would you advise OP to behave if they don’t want to “signal” anything?

      – Dan Romik
      Jan 30 at 0:52

    • 6

      @PatrickB. But not wanting to signal something doesn’t mean they want to signal its opposite. This answer tells OP how to signal the oppsite, but does not tell OP how to not signal anything.

      – JiK
      Jan 30 at 1:31

    • 14

      @ClimbsRocks I’d advise against putting something unusual or jokey in place of a PGP, since that could easily be interpreted as making fun of or trivializing them. It could also communicate something inaccurate (e.g., someone might read “X” as “agender”). In general, putting something unusual in the PGP field or leaving it blank will call much more attention to your decision than simply putting the pronoun you actually use, which most people will find unremarkable.

      – Patrick B.
      Jan 30 at 3:09

    • 8

      @DanRomik: at a conference where everybody is asked to put their preferred gender pronoun to put on a visible tag to wear, I don’t think not signalling anything is possible.

      – RemcoGerlich
      Jan 30 at 8:47

    • 3

      @DanRomik That’s simply impossible. Every action signals something, even if inadvertently (ClimbsRocks suggestion is in fact a pretty strong signal and therefore a terrible idea). The only valid and helpful recommendation is therefore for OP to accept that they might be seen as signaling

      – Konrad Rudolph
      Jan 30 at 15:51

    18

    I don’t think it’s disrespectful to leave it blank.

    However, it doesn’t cost you anything to fill it in, and by filling it in you are demonstrating that you think that it is a reasonable question and supporting the right of others, who may want to write something more surprising, to do so.

    Hence, unless you feel strongly that this question should not be asked, I recommend filling it in as a supportive / ally action.

    share|improve this answer

    • 1

      Absolutely this! If the OP doesn’t feel strongly about the issue, it would be helpful to others for them to put something in the blank that they are comfortable with people referring to them as (I can’t imagine most people prefer others not use pronouns at all!). If only transgender/gender variant people put pronouns on, that singles them out, but if everyone does it, then it normalizes it and makes it more comfortable for everyone.

      – called2voyage
      Jan 30 at 15:27

    • 1

      @called2voyage It makes it more comfortable for everyone except people who don’t have a strong gender identity.

      – soueuls
      Jan 31 at 9:51

    • @soueuls That’s why the answer says it’s not disrespectful, but it’s asking the OP to consider the benefit to the underrepresented if they don’t really have an issue with it. That said, I’m not sure how uncomfortable this would really be if everyone were doing it, even to some without a strong gender identity. As I said, you do use pronouns, right? If you don’t, that would be different, but as long as you use pronouns, there has to be something that you’re more comfortable with being referred to as.

      – called2voyage
      Jan 31 at 13:48

    • 1

      @called2voyage Yes I use pronouns when I address people, depending on which language I am speaking. But I don’t dehumanize my social interactions by walking around having my pronouns displayed on my chest. I heard someone advising to write down preferred pronouns on your phone book just so you don’t offend anyone. I do prefer excluding myself from any of these social interactions than wasting an ounce of energy thinking about this.

      – soueuls
      Jan 31 at 14:48

    15

    No, you are not disrespectful. Ideally (not in the real world, unfortunately) the only people who would object are those who would find unreasonable ways to disrespect you.

    It is good that it is optional, as it should be. Everyone should have the freedom to define their own identity in these matters. If others want to define you, it isn’t necessary to assist them.

    Of course, this is just my opinion. But your own opinion is the one that should matter.

    share|improve this answer

      14

      It sounds like if it is optional, then it is just that: optional.

      If you wrote your PGP as “he/him” maybe that would signal an even stronger belief in binary gender norms.

      We can respect people who request to be called by a certain PGP. But we do not need to feel obligated to disclose our own view on the subject via means of a nametag.

      share|improve this answer

      • 36

        Writing your PGP absolutely does not signal a belief in binary gender.

        – Dancrumb
        Jan 30 at 3:27

      • 1

        @Dancrumb As a transgender woman, I am of the opinion that the OP is strongly signaling the OP’s preference for cisgendered people by stating the OP’s preferred gender pronoun. The OP is forcing a belief upon me that insinuates that I am somehow lesser because I choose not to be cisgendered.

        – Vladhagen
        Jan 30 at 3:49

      • 22

        Then why do you want preferred gender pronouns to be displayed on badges at all, if someone else stating their preference is “forcing a belief on you that insinuates you are somehow lesser”? If you want others to call you by a particular pronoun, how is that not forcing a belief on others than insinuates something about them? This answer doesn’t answer the question and with your comment it’s even less clear than it was before that.

        – Wildcard
        Jan 30 at 5:06

      • 6

        @Vladhagen As someone with a number of trans* and cross-dressing friends, my trans* friends are unanimous that it wasn’t a “choice”, it was who they were. My CD friends are equally clear that it’s something they like but they wouldn’t do it full time or consider transitioning. You’re free to express yourself how you want, of course, but your selection of words there could be misunderstood. And militant anti-binaryism does not fit with you considering it a “choice”.

        – Graham
        Jan 30 at 8:34

      • 1

        @Graham the whole “choice” narrative is a contentious one among transgender people. The fact is, for some people “it wasn’t a choice” fits very well, and for some people it’s more complicated than that, and enforcing a single narrative onto all trans people ends up erasing a lot of people’s real experiences for the sake of marginal PR gains. Please don’t talk over a trans person’s description of their own experience, especially if you’re only citing the words of your friends.

        – dn3s
        Feb 1 at 19:01

      12

      If it were me, I would just put the name down. I have no desire to participate in the pronoun game or over complicate things. A person’s name should be perfectly sufficient for a “name” tag.

      share|improve this answer

        8

        I’m not sure how so many people have missed a key part of the question: OP does not identify as a he/his. OP states so explicitly:

        I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think
        of the self in those terms.

        Many answers assume that because OP is at home in a male body (OP’s sex), OP must therefore be perfectly fine with the masculine gender (a strange set of ever-evolving societal expectations tied to behavior). But OP has gone so far as to ask this question and explicitly state distaste at writing the “default” pronoun: “I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag.”

        OP has made it clear they identify outside of the gender binary. Now comes the tough part, because we don’t have great words for that yet, and of course at this point, we’re just left guessing which of the multitude of non-binary genders OP identifies as (which includes the option of not really identifying with any of them).

        I’m in similar shoes myself: at home in a masculine body, entirely not at home with our society’s definition of the masculine gender. I identify as genderqueer, and prefer “they/them”. Since OP doesn’t seem to identify that way, here are some other ideas for options that don’t force much of a gender identity on OP:

        • Human
        • [Your Name]
        • Doctor / Professor / Student
        • Mathematician / Engineer / Researcher
        • Any / None
        • Ally
        • Non-binary
        • Still figuring it out
        • You can call me “he” until our society comes up with better words
        • Gender’s complicated
        • ze/hir, co/cos, xe/xem/xyr, hy/hym/hys

        The key part is that you don’t have to write down anything you don’t identify with. That’s the whole point of that space- to respect people’s many and varied gender identities, and to explicitly state that we’re bad at knowing someone’s gender identity just by looking at their physical characteristics and making assumptions.

        If you spend some time looking up agender pronouns or genderqueer pronouns, you’ll see there’s still nothing like a consensus around this, so unfortunately, you’re stuck making the decision yourelf. The closest thing I can think of to dodging the issue is Human, using your name, or Ally. Human is what I try to use for all new people I meet, and it’s worked out well for me for the past few years.

        share|improve this answer

        • 13

          I am skeptical about some of your suggestions (meh, emoji) as they might be perceived as ridiculing that part of the name tag – though that’s not the intention.

          – Wrzlprmft
          Jan 30 at 20:04

        • yeah you really need to be careful. Trolls have managed to popularize “i identify as an attack helicopter” style mockery and it’s possible well-intentioned responses could be misinterpreted as such. It’s unfortunate since the thing we need right now is less policing of how people identify themselves gender-wise, but sadly this defensive reaction has ended up being necessitated by external malicious actors.

          – dn3s
          Feb 1 at 19:05

        • 1

          your last paragraph points out something valuable, normalizing explicitly specified pronouns does have a negative side effects for people who don’t want to identify themselves with any gender. in theory the phrase “non-binary” and corresponding they/them pronouns could be a useful statement of pure non-identity perfect for such situations, but people are complicated and turns out the term fits as a positive identity for enough people that it doesn’t carry that connotation. in the end we need something more complex than just “everyone say your pronouns”, as good of a step as it is.

          – dn3s
          Feb 1 at 19:09

        6

        I highly doubt that anyone will take offense to you not filling out the PGP slot. If I were you and anyone came up to me and started to accuse me of being disrespectful, I’d assert that I intend no such disrespect and write them off as unreasonable (mentally, of course – heaven forbid I end up on Youtube). The conversation shouldn’t start up at all if you never bring it up; you don’t have to explain why you didn’t fill it out, and I recommend that you don’t, as no one can object if they don’t know why you didn’t do it.

        Personally, if everyone else was filling it out, I’d think twice about leaving it blank, as that might be perceived as inflammatory.

        The only thing you have to worry about would be other’s potential reactions to it; morally and legally, you are in the clear. Be confident; this is only as much of an issue as you and others let it become.

        share|improve this answer

          5

          For the particular situation you describe, with what I gather your motives are: I would put down a preference for a masculine pronoun.

          Why?:

          Firstly, it may do some good. You give a good summary of why asking this question might help (I won’t repeat them, but I agree) and it’s not going to work if everyone abstains.

          Secondly, as other have pointed out, it does no harm. It’s exceptionally unlikely that anyone would read putting down a preference as being an advocate of any stance on gender. It’s not like you went out of your way to insist on a pronoun. Maybe this doesn’t signal the interest you clearly have in the issue (and make others stop think about it). However it doesn’t give an implication to the contrary and your not going to find a response that does in a drop-down list.

          Finally, refusing to answer may be interpreted in a number of ways that you have no real control over. I think the question to ask is: “do the likely interpretations line up with the views I want to portray?”.
          This bit is very subjective, but I would say no.
          I would have thought it more likely that someone would perceive not answering as: “I am not interested in this. (I’ll get ‘he’ anyway)” than “I care, and have thought about this extensively, but I was not comfortable with any of the responses”. Worse, within the “I care” group the “why” is equally open to interpretation. I imagine there are as many who are mocking or subverting the intention of the question as those trying to improve it.
          It might be worth noting here that in polarised issues, people tend to see threats more quickly than allies. I’d be reluctant to assume people will give you the benefit of the doubt in interpreting your stance.

          So, is it rude not to answer: No, there are a host of reasons not to that are not rude at all and I like to think most would see it this way. But it may well be seen as rude by some, not everyone will have thought about it in the same way.

          Is it worth it? This has been answered well elsewhere but: Up to you, there are no wrong answers.

          Controversy time:

          If it’s free text (I’ll go on a limb and say it’s not) what to put?
          I would still put he/him. There may will be the magic combination of characters instead that has the desired affect but I doubt it. If this question turns into a complex game with rules and pitfalls and “damn, that’s a better answer”, people will stop playing. Maybe one day … but one step at a time.

          share|improve this answer

            4

            My suggestion is that, if you really have no preference, you should enter

            (no preference)

            on the registration form and leave it to the organizers to figure out how to process this. This may also help clue the organizers in that the way they are doing this may not be a good fit for everyone.

            However, if there are pronouns you prefer to she, either pick one, or list your top choices, e.g.

            he/they/zey

            As some people have pointed out, just leaving that question blank could be construed as not being supportive of the organizers efforts. If you actual are opposed to the way this is done, and have a better suggestion, you could also communicate this to the organizers.

            share|improve this answer

            • 3

              My guess is that this would make “(no preference)” appear on the conference badge.

              – Alexey B.
              Jan 30 at 16:39

            • 3

              @AlexeyB. I wasn’t sure if there would be space for that on the name tag, but if so, and if that’s what the OP really prefers, isn’t that a good outcome?

              – Kimball
              Jan 30 at 17:40

            • 4

              It’s almost like OP has a preference after all. thinking emoji

              – Adonalsium
              Jan 30 at 18:22

            • 2

              I’ve seen “Any/All” used as a way to express “(No Preference)” online before, which I think is a good alternate way to phrase it, especially if it’s obvious that it’s referring to PGPs.

              – Tylerelyt
              Jan 30 at 22:08

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            93

            It seems to me that the way to signal respect is, quite simply, by literally respecting people’s choice as to how they wish to present themselves to the world. So I’d advise you to take care to refer to people using their preferred pronoun as they chose to list it on their name tag (or using common sense if no pronoun is indicated). And don’t insult or think ill of anyone for making a choice that you disagree with regarding their pronoun, or regarding a choice not to list a pronoun for that matter.

            While this advice may seem too obvious to be helpful, my point is that you are also entitled to the same respect that I just advised you to accord others. When you fill that form, you are choosing how you wish to present yourself to the world. Any choice that you make is 100% legitimate and deserves to be respected, including not wanting to list a pronoun. You don’t owe anyone a reason or an explanation of what (if anything) you are trying to “signal”. And anyone who professes to support other people’s rights to choose a pronoun to describe themselves, by extension supports your right to describe yourself however you choose to. Thus, I don’t see how any such person can take offense to your decision without being inconsistent and somewhat of a hypocrite. It doesn’t mean there aren’t such people who would find a way to imbue your action with a meaning it doesn’t have and take offense, but if there are I’m pretty sure you can safely ignore them, or, better yet, if challenged by them you can easily (and in a friendly way, I suggest) explain to them why they are misguided to be offended.


            Edit: To address some of what’s been said in the comments and other answers, here are a couple more thoughts that occurred to me:

            1. Someone (@vaelus) said my answer sidesteps the question since it focuses on whether people should be offended, but “doesn’t advise on how likely it actually is for people to be offended.” That is correct. The reason why I chose to focus on this aspect is that there are situations where any action we take is likely to offend or annoy someone. Arguably most of life is like that, since the world unfortunately has many unreasonable people. Here too, I expect that some people will likely be annoyed also by the inclusion of pronouns on name tags, and might specifically be annoyed with OP if they were to take the action of including one. So it’s a Catch 22, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t sort of situation. Therefore in my opinion the correct way to make decisions about tricky dilemmas like this is to base your actions on logic, and to be at peace with your own choices and be prepared to defend them if challenged. “Will people be offended?” is simply the wrong question to ask.

            2. A lot of people are focusing on what OP will be “signaling” with each of the various choices that are available to them. And yet I find it amusing and interesting that almost everyone with an opinion is reading the “signal” a bit differently from everyone else. So, if the signal is such that 10 people look at it and each one is “reading” a different meaning into it (and appearing pretty confident that their reading is the correct one) isn’t that a sign that there actually isn’t any signal there to interpret, or that if there is then it is an extremely weak one at best? (Moreover, this is after we read OP’s very detailed explanation of what their opinion actually is! No signal is even necessary in this case.) So again, I think the focus on the signal is misguided. As @vladhagen said in another answer, the pronoun field is optional, and optional means precisely that. The only signal that not including a pronoun legitimately sends is “I chose to exercise my right not to include a pronoun.”

            share|improve this answer

            • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:17

            93

            It seems to me that the way to signal respect is, quite simply, by literally respecting people’s choice as to how they wish to present themselves to the world. So I’d advise you to take care to refer to people using their preferred pronoun as they chose to list it on their name tag (or using common sense if no pronoun is indicated). And don’t insult or think ill of anyone for making a choice that you disagree with regarding their pronoun, or regarding a choice not to list a pronoun for that matter.

            While this advice may seem too obvious to be helpful, my point is that you are also entitled to the same respect that I just advised you to accord others. When you fill that form, you are choosing how you wish to present yourself to the world. Any choice that you make is 100% legitimate and deserves to be respected, including not wanting to list a pronoun. You don’t owe anyone a reason or an explanation of what (if anything) you are trying to “signal”. And anyone who professes to support other people’s rights to choose a pronoun to describe themselves, by extension supports your right to describe yourself however you choose to. Thus, I don’t see how any such person can take offense to your decision without being inconsistent and somewhat of a hypocrite. It doesn’t mean there aren’t such people who would find a way to imbue your action with a meaning it doesn’t have and take offense, but if there are I’m pretty sure you can safely ignore them, or, better yet, if challenged by them you can easily (and in a friendly way, I suggest) explain to them why they are misguided to be offended.


            Edit: To address some of what’s been said in the comments and other answers, here are a couple more thoughts that occurred to me:

            1. Someone (@vaelus) said my answer sidesteps the question since it focuses on whether people should be offended, but “doesn’t advise on how likely it actually is for people to be offended.” That is correct. The reason why I chose to focus on this aspect is that there are situations where any action we take is likely to offend or annoy someone. Arguably most of life is like that, since the world unfortunately has many unreasonable people. Here too, I expect that some people will likely be annoyed also by the inclusion of pronouns on name tags, and might specifically be annoyed with OP if they were to take the action of including one. So it’s a Catch 22, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t sort of situation. Therefore in my opinion the correct way to make decisions about tricky dilemmas like this is to base your actions on logic, and to be at peace with your own choices and be prepared to defend them if challenged. “Will people be offended?” is simply the wrong question to ask.

            2. A lot of people are focusing on what OP will be “signaling” with each of the various choices that are available to them. And yet I find it amusing and interesting that almost everyone with an opinion is reading the “signal” a bit differently from everyone else. So, if the signal is such that 10 people look at it and each one is “reading” a different meaning into it (and appearing pretty confident that their reading is the correct one) isn’t that a sign that there actually isn’t any signal there to interpret, or that if there is then it is an extremely weak one at best? (Moreover, this is after we read OP’s very detailed explanation of what their opinion actually is! No signal is even necessary in this case.) So again, I think the focus on the signal is misguided. As @vladhagen said in another answer, the pronoun field is optional, and optional means precisely that. The only signal that not including a pronoun legitimately sends is “I chose to exercise my right not to include a pronoun.”

            share|improve this answer

            • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:17

            93

            93

            93

            It seems to me that the way to signal respect is, quite simply, by literally respecting people’s choice as to how they wish to present themselves to the world. So I’d advise you to take care to refer to people using their preferred pronoun as they chose to list it on their name tag (or using common sense if no pronoun is indicated). And don’t insult or think ill of anyone for making a choice that you disagree with regarding their pronoun, or regarding a choice not to list a pronoun for that matter.

            While this advice may seem too obvious to be helpful, my point is that you are also entitled to the same respect that I just advised you to accord others. When you fill that form, you are choosing how you wish to present yourself to the world. Any choice that you make is 100% legitimate and deserves to be respected, including not wanting to list a pronoun. You don’t owe anyone a reason or an explanation of what (if anything) you are trying to “signal”. And anyone who professes to support other people’s rights to choose a pronoun to describe themselves, by extension supports your right to describe yourself however you choose to. Thus, I don’t see how any such person can take offense to your decision without being inconsistent and somewhat of a hypocrite. It doesn’t mean there aren’t such people who would find a way to imbue your action with a meaning it doesn’t have and take offense, but if there are I’m pretty sure you can safely ignore them, or, better yet, if challenged by them you can easily (and in a friendly way, I suggest) explain to them why they are misguided to be offended.


            Edit: To address some of what’s been said in the comments and other answers, here are a couple more thoughts that occurred to me:

            1. Someone (@vaelus) said my answer sidesteps the question since it focuses on whether people should be offended, but “doesn’t advise on how likely it actually is for people to be offended.” That is correct. The reason why I chose to focus on this aspect is that there are situations where any action we take is likely to offend or annoy someone. Arguably most of life is like that, since the world unfortunately has many unreasonable people. Here too, I expect that some people will likely be annoyed also by the inclusion of pronouns on name tags, and might specifically be annoyed with OP if they were to take the action of including one. So it’s a Catch 22, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t sort of situation. Therefore in my opinion the correct way to make decisions about tricky dilemmas like this is to base your actions on logic, and to be at peace with your own choices and be prepared to defend them if challenged. “Will people be offended?” is simply the wrong question to ask.

            2. A lot of people are focusing on what OP will be “signaling” with each of the various choices that are available to them. And yet I find it amusing and interesting that almost everyone with an opinion is reading the “signal” a bit differently from everyone else. So, if the signal is such that 10 people look at it and each one is “reading” a different meaning into it (and appearing pretty confident that their reading is the correct one) isn’t that a sign that there actually isn’t any signal there to interpret, or that if there is then it is an extremely weak one at best? (Moreover, this is after we read OP’s very detailed explanation of what their opinion actually is! No signal is even necessary in this case.) So again, I think the focus on the signal is misguided. As @vladhagen said in another answer, the pronoun field is optional, and optional means precisely that. The only signal that not including a pronoun legitimately sends is “I chose to exercise my right not to include a pronoun.”

            share|improve this answer

            It seems to me that the way to signal respect is, quite simply, by literally respecting people’s choice as to how they wish to present themselves to the world. So I’d advise you to take care to refer to people using their preferred pronoun as they chose to list it on their name tag (or using common sense if no pronoun is indicated). And don’t insult or think ill of anyone for making a choice that you disagree with regarding their pronoun, or regarding a choice not to list a pronoun for that matter.

            While this advice may seem too obvious to be helpful, my point is that you are also entitled to the same respect that I just advised you to accord others. When you fill that form, you are choosing how you wish to present yourself to the world. Any choice that you make is 100% legitimate and deserves to be respected, including not wanting to list a pronoun. You don’t owe anyone a reason or an explanation of what (if anything) you are trying to “signal”. And anyone who professes to support other people’s rights to choose a pronoun to describe themselves, by extension supports your right to describe yourself however you choose to. Thus, I don’t see how any such person can take offense to your decision without being inconsistent and somewhat of a hypocrite. It doesn’t mean there aren’t such people who would find a way to imbue your action with a meaning it doesn’t have and take offense, but if there are I’m pretty sure you can safely ignore them, or, better yet, if challenged by them you can easily (and in a friendly way, I suggest) explain to them why they are misguided to be offended.


            Edit: To address some of what’s been said in the comments and other answers, here are a couple more thoughts that occurred to me:

            1. Someone (@vaelus) said my answer sidesteps the question since it focuses on whether people should be offended, but “doesn’t advise on how likely it actually is for people to be offended.” That is correct. The reason why I chose to focus on this aspect is that there are situations where any action we take is likely to offend or annoy someone. Arguably most of life is like that, since the world unfortunately has many unreasonable people. Here too, I expect that some people will likely be annoyed also by the inclusion of pronouns on name tags, and might specifically be annoyed with OP if they were to take the action of including one. So it’s a Catch 22, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t sort of situation. Therefore in my opinion the correct way to make decisions about tricky dilemmas like this is to base your actions on logic, and to be at peace with your own choices and be prepared to defend them if challenged. “Will people be offended?” is simply the wrong question to ask.

            2. A lot of people are focusing on what OP will be “signaling” with each of the various choices that are available to them. And yet I find it amusing and interesting that almost everyone with an opinion is reading the “signal” a bit differently from everyone else. So, if the signal is such that 10 people look at it and each one is “reading” a different meaning into it (and appearing pretty confident that their reading is the correct one) isn’t that a sign that there actually isn’t any signal there to interpret, or that if there is then it is an extremely weak one at best? (Moreover, this is after we read OP’s very detailed explanation of what their opinion actually is! No signal is even necessary in this case.) So again, I think the focus on the signal is misguided. As @vladhagen said in another answer, the pronoun field is optional, and optional means precisely that. The only signal that not including a pronoun legitimately sends is “I chose to exercise my right not to include a pronoun.”

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            edited Jan 30 at 19:09

            answered Jan 30 at 1:10

            Dan RomikDan Romik

            86.4k22187284

            86.4k22187284

            • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:17

            • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:17

            Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

            – ff524
            Jan 30 at 17:17

            Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

            – ff524
            Jan 30 at 17:17

            49

            At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP.

            I suspect your refusal in this might come off more of rejecting the idea of PGPs rather than choosing not to have your own, which is at least mildly rude.

            You describe yourself as looking like a cishet man (I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident.), which – fairly or unfairy – I think would make people more likely to interpret a blank gender field as a rejection, rather than “no pronoun preferred.” You may have to be explicity about your support for PGPs.

            I’m curious, what would you do if you were in a meeting and everyone went around and said “names and pronouns please”? Would you still say “I don’t care, call me what you want”?

            but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

            Putting either binary pronoun down wouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of gender binarism. As far as I know, there are not separate pronouns for people who are proponents of a gender sepectrum yet identify as a member of the traditional genders.

            Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me

            Yet, you do plan on wearing a nametag with your name on it, right?


            On the whole, I wouldn’t go so far as to say leaving an optional field blank is disrespectful (if it was mandatory, I would say it was rude), but if only for the first reason, I suggest you do it.

            Keep in mind that normalizing sharing pronouns is as much for your comfort as for those who feel compelled to share theirs, either because theirs are unusual or because they don’t look “typically” masculine or feminine. The reason we go around in a meeting and ask for pronouns is so one trans person (for example) doesn’t feel called out because they chose to name their pronouns, but no one else did.

            You say you don’t have the desire to include a PGP on your nametag. Unless you truly desire not to have one, put one on. Maybe try “they,” if you don’t feel “he” works for you.

            share|improve this answer

            • 2

              Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:19

            • 2

              Folks – please use Academia Chat (or the specific chat room for this question) for longer, non-clarifying discussion. Enormous off-topic comment threads make it very difficult for visitors to determine if the comments are useful or just noise.

              – eykanal
              Jan 31 at 21:27

            49

            At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP.

            I suspect your refusal in this might come off more of rejecting the idea of PGPs rather than choosing not to have your own, which is at least mildly rude.

            You describe yourself as looking like a cishet man (I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident.), which – fairly or unfairy – I think would make people more likely to interpret a blank gender field as a rejection, rather than “no pronoun preferred.” You may have to be explicity about your support for PGPs.

            I’m curious, what would you do if you were in a meeting and everyone went around and said “names and pronouns please”? Would you still say “I don’t care, call me what you want”?

            but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

            Putting either binary pronoun down wouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of gender binarism. As far as I know, there are not separate pronouns for people who are proponents of a gender sepectrum yet identify as a member of the traditional genders.

            Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me

            Yet, you do plan on wearing a nametag with your name on it, right?


            On the whole, I wouldn’t go so far as to say leaving an optional field blank is disrespectful (if it was mandatory, I would say it was rude), but if only for the first reason, I suggest you do it.

            Keep in mind that normalizing sharing pronouns is as much for your comfort as for those who feel compelled to share theirs, either because theirs are unusual or because they don’t look “typically” masculine or feminine. The reason we go around in a meeting and ask for pronouns is so one trans person (for example) doesn’t feel called out because they chose to name their pronouns, but no one else did.

            You say you don’t have the desire to include a PGP on your nametag. Unless you truly desire not to have one, put one on. Maybe try “they,” if you don’t feel “he” works for you.

            share|improve this answer

            • 2

              Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:19

            • 2

              Folks – please use Academia Chat (or the specific chat room for this question) for longer, non-clarifying discussion. Enormous off-topic comment threads make it very difficult for visitors to determine if the comments are useful or just noise.

              – eykanal
              Jan 31 at 21:27

            49

            49

            49

            At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP.

            I suspect your refusal in this might come off more of rejecting the idea of PGPs rather than choosing not to have your own, which is at least mildly rude.

            You describe yourself as looking like a cishet man (I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident.), which – fairly or unfairy – I think would make people more likely to interpret a blank gender field as a rejection, rather than “no pronoun preferred.” You may have to be explicity about your support for PGPs.

            I’m curious, what would you do if you were in a meeting and everyone went around and said “names and pronouns please”? Would you still say “I don’t care, call me what you want”?

            but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

            Putting either binary pronoun down wouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of gender binarism. As far as I know, there are not separate pronouns for people who are proponents of a gender sepectrum yet identify as a member of the traditional genders.

            Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me

            Yet, you do plan on wearing a nametag with your name on it, right?


            On the whole, I wouldn’t go so far as to say leaving an optional field blank is disrespectful (if it was mandatory, I would say it was rude), but if only for the first reason, I suggest you do it.

            Keep in mind that normalizing sharing pronouns is as much for your comfort as for those who feel compelled to share theirs, either because theirs are unusual or because they don’t look “typically” masculine or feminine. The reason we go around in a meeting and ask for pronouns is so one trans person (for example) doesn’t feel called out because they chose to name their pronouns, but no one else did.

            You say you don’t have the desire to include a PGP on your nametag. Unless you truly desire not to have one, put one on. Maybe try “they,” if you don’t feel “he” works for you.

            share|improve this answer

            At the last one of these conferences, the vast majority of people did include the PGP.

            I suspect your refusal in this might come off more of rejecting the idea of PGPs rather than choosing not to have your own, which is at least mildly rude.

            You describe yourself as looking like a cishet man (I don’t have to worry about it because I already conform to societal assumptions about gender anyway. I have the privilege of knowing that no one is going to call me “she” by accident.), which – fairly or unfairy – I think would make people more likely to interpret a blank gender field as a rejection, rather than “no pronoun preferred.” You may have to be explicity about your support for PGPs.

            I’m curious, what would you do if you were in a meeting and everyone went around and said “names and pronouns please”? Would you still say “I don’t care, call me what you want”?

            but I also don’t want to give the false impression that I’m a proponent of gender binarism.

            Putting either binary pronoun down wouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of gender binarism. As far as I know, there are not separate pronouns for people who are proponents of a gender sepectrum yet identify as a member of the traditional genders.

            Still, all I mean is that I don’t feel compelled to broadcast anything about my identity as a pretext to interaction. If someone wants to learn about who I am, they can speak to me

            Yet, you do plan on wearing a nametag with your name on it, right?


            On the whole, I wouldn’t go so far as to say leaving an optional field blank is disrespectful (if it was mandatory, I would say it was rude), but if only for the first reason, I suggest you do it.

            Keep in mind that normalizing sharing pronouns is as much for your comfort as for those who feel compelled to share theirs, either because theirs are unusual or because they don’t look “typically” masculine or feminine. The reason we go around in a meeting and ask for pronouns is so one trans person (for example) doesn’t feel called out because they chose to name their pronouns, but no one else did.

            You say you don’t have the desire to include a PGP on your nametag. Unless you truly desire not to have one, put one on. Maybe try “they,” if you don’t feel “he” works for you.

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            share|improve this answer

            edited Jan 31 at 16:10

            answered Jan 29 at 23:46

            Azor AhaiAzor Ahai

            4,33811839

            4,33811839

            • 2

              Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:19

            • 2

              Folks – please use Academia Chat (or the specific chat room for this question) for longer, non-clarifying discussion. Enormous off-topic comment threads make it very difficult for visitors to determine if the comments are useful or just noise.

              – eykanal
              Jan 31 at 21:27

            • 2

              Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

              – ff524
              Jan 30 at 17:19

            • 2

              Folks – please use Academia Chat (or the specific chat room for this question) for longer, non-clarifying discussion. Enormous off-topic comment threads make it very difficult for visitors to determine if the comments are useful or just noise.

              – eykanal
              Jan 31 at 21:27

            2

            2

            Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

            – ff524
            Jan 30 at 17:19

            Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. (Also see the meta FAQ.)

            – ff524
            Jan 30 at 17:19

            2

            2

            Folks – please use Academia Chat (or the specific chat room for this question) for longer, non-clarifying discussion. Enormous off-topic comment threads make it very difficult for visitors to determine if the comments are useful or just noise.

            – eykanal
            Jan 31 at 21:27

            Folks – please use Academia Chat (or the specific chat room for this question) for longer, non-clarifying discussion. Enormous off-topic comment threads make it very difficult for visitors to determine if the comments are useful or just noise.

            – eykanal
            Jan 31 at 21:27

            39

            In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction

            People with non-binary pronouns do benefit from this kind of measure, but it’s also helpful for some people who do have “he” or “she” pronouns which are not immediately obvious. This can include transgender people and those who are just plain androgynous.

            I used to get addressed as “ma’am” on a regular basis. On one occasion when travelling in the USA they selected me for a random search and called for a female officer, even though they could have just looked at my ticket to see my first name. It still happens occasionally in my forties. I’m not bothered by it, but other people might be, and in my experience the people who make the mistake are often mortified when they realise. Pronoun badges etc. can help avoid that kind of awkwardness.

            However, if only the non-gender-conforming people are wearing pronoun badges (or stating their pronouns in online profiles, etc. etc.) that can become uncomfortable. Being NGC is sometimes risky – I’ve been yelled at in public by a stranger who was angry because he couldn’t immediately tell my gender, stared at for using the “wrong bathroom”, and plenty of folk have had far worse experiences. When other folk also use pronoun badges/etc. it helps defuse this; it establishes the idea that giving your pronouns is a normal thing and doesn’t have to flag you as a weirdo.

            So, if you do choose to include your pronouns on your badge, you will be helping to make things a little more comfortable for the folk who need to include them.

            But if the vast majority of folk at this conference are doing it, then one more or less is unlikely to make much difference, and it’s unlikely that anybody would take it as an affront. What’s important is that it’s common practice, not that it’s universal.

            share|improve this answer

              39

              In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction

              People with non-binary pronouns do benefit from this kind of measure, but it’s also helpful for some people who do have “he” or “she” pronouns which are not immediately obvious. This can include transgender people and those who are just plain androgynous.

              I used to get addressed as “ma’am” on a regular basis. On one occasion when travelling in the USA they selected me for a random search and called for a female officer, even though they could have just looked at my ticket to see my first name. It still happens occasionally in my forties. I’m not bothered by it, but other people might be, and in my experience the people who make the mistake are often mortified when they realise. Pronoun badges etc. can help avoid that kind of awkwardness.

              However, if only the non-gender-conforming people are wearing pronoun badges (or stating their pronouns in online profiles, etc. etc.) that can become uncomfortable. Being NGC is sometimes risky – I’ve been yelled at in public by a stranger who was angry because he couldn’t immediately tell my gender, stared at for using the “wrong bathroom”, and plenty of folk have had far worse experiences. When other folk also use pronoun badges/etc. it helps defuse this; it establishes the idea that giving your pronouns is a normal thing and doesn’t have to flag you as a weirdo.

              So, if you do choose to include your pronouns on your badge, you will be helping to make things a little more comfortable for the folk who need to include them.

              But if the vast majority of folk at this conference are doing it, then one more or less is unlikely to make much difference, and it’s unlikely that anybody would take it as an affront. What’s important is that it’s common practice, not that it’s universal.

              share|improve this answer

                39

                39

                39

                In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction

                People with non-binary pronouns do benefit from this kind of measure, but it’s also helpful for some people who do have “he” or “she” pronouns which are not immediately obvious. This can include transgender people and those who are just plain androgynous.

                I used to get addressed as “ma’am” on a regular basis. On one occasion when travelling in the USA they selected me for a random search and called for a female officer, even though they could have just looked at my ticket to see my first name. It still happens occasionally in my forties. I’m not bothered by it, but other people might be, and in my experience the people who make the mistake are often mortified when they realise. Pronoun badges etc. can help avoid that kind of awkwardness.

                However, if only the non-gender-conforming people are wearing pronoun badges (or stating their pronouns in online profiles, etc. etc.) that can become uncomfortable. Being NGC is sometimes risky – I’ve been yelled at in public by a stranger who was angry because he couldn’t immediately tell my gender, stared at for using the “wrong bathroom”, and plenty of folk have had far worse experiences. When other folk also use pronoun badges/etc. it helps defuse this; it establishes the idea that giving your pronouns is a normal thing and doesn’t have to flag you as a weirdo.

                So, if you do choose to include your pronouns on your badge, you will be helping to make things a little more comfortable for the folk who need to include them.

                But if the vast majority of folk at this conference are doing it, then one more or less is unlikely to make much difference, and it’s unlikely that anybody would take it as an affront. What’s important is that it’s common practice, not that it’s universal.

                share|improve this answer

                In the case that that person does use an non-standard pronoun (if that’s the right terminology), then this offers them what is already privileged to those whose gender is aligned with societal assumptions (e.g. a white male who identifies as a man and uses the PGP “he/his”, like me) to not have to make their identity a point of conversation at the outset of any interaction

                People with non-binary pronouns do benefit from this kind of measure, but it’s also helpful for some people who do have “he” or “she” pronouns which are not immediately obvious. This can include transgender people and those who are just plain androgynous.

                I used to get addressed as “ma’am” on a regular basis. On one occasion when travelling in the USA they selected me for a random search and called for a female officer, even though they could have just looked at my ticket to see my first name. It still happens occasionally in my forties. I’m not bothered by it, but other people might be, and in my experience the people who make the mistake are often mortified when they realise. Pronoun badges etc. can help avoid that kind of awkwardness.

                However, if only the non-gender-conforming people are wearing pronoun badges (or stating their pronouns in online profiles, etc. etc.) that can become uncomfortable. Being NGC is sometimes risky – I’ve been yelled at in public by a stranger who was angry because he couldn’t immediately tell my gender, stared at for using the “wrong bathroom”, and plenty of folk have had far worse experiences. When other folk also use pronoun badges/etc. it helps defuse this; it establishes the idea that giving your pronouns is a normal thing and doesn’t have to flag you as a weirdo.

                So, if you do choose to include your pronouns on your badge, you will be helping to make things a little more comfortable for the folk who need to include them.

                But if the vast majority of folk at this conference are doing it, then one more or less is unlikely to make much difference, and it’s unlikely that anybody would take it as an affront. What’s important is that it’s common practice, not that it’s universal.

                share|improve this answer

                share|improve this answer

                share|improve this answer

                answered Jan 30 at 0:38

                Geoffrey BrentGeoffrey Brent

                6,77111928

                6,77111928

                    30

                    One of the strongest things you can do as a privileged ally is to use your position of privilege to erode systems of oppression.

                    While being explicit about your PGPs are optional for this conference, that optionality is really only available to folks in a position of privilege. Your ability to say “I don’t have to worry about it” is not something available to others.

                    I think that leaving your PGP blank sends a signal that you’re comfortable with your privilege. Taking the opportunity to normalize the sharing of PGPs and thereby drawing others into what is “normal” seems to be a signal more in line with the views that you expressed regarding inclusivity.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 7

                      This one. Offering your preferred pronouns signals that you respect your colleagues pronoun choices. Whether you feel like you should or not, doing so anyway (at no cost to you) sets an example that others will hopefully follow.

                      – kmm
                      Jan 30 at 17:53

                    30

                    One of the strongest things you can do as a privileged ally is to use your position of privilege to erode systems of oppression.

                    While being explicit about your PGPs are optional for this conference, that optionality is really only available to folks in a position of privilege. Your ability to say “I don’t have to worry about it” is not something available to others.

                    I think that leaving your PGP blank sends a signal that you’re comfortable with your privilege. Taking the opportunity to normalize the sharing of PGPs and thereby drawing others into what is “normal” seems to be a signal more in line with the views that you expressed regarding inclusivity.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 7

                      This one. Offering your preferred pronouns signals that you respect your colleagues pronoun choices. Whether you feel like you should or not, doing so anyway (at no cost to you) sets an example that others will hopefully follow.

                      – kmm
                      Jan 30 at 17:53

                    30

                    30

                    30

                    One of the strongest things you can do as a privileged ally is to use your position of privilege to erode systems of oppression.

                    While being explicit about your PGPs are optional for this conference, that optionality is really only available to folks in a position of privilege. Your ability to say “I don’t have to worry about it” is not something available to others.

                    I think that leaving your PGP blank sends a signal that you’re comfortable with your privilege. Taking the opportunity to normalize the sharing of PGPs and thereby drawing others into what is “normal” seems to be a signal more in line with the views that you expressed regarding inclusivity.

                    share|improve this answer

                    One of the strongest things you can do as a privileged ally is to use your position of privilege to erode systems of oppression.

                    While being explicit about your PGPs are optional for this conference, that optionality is really only available to folks in a position of privilege. Your ability to say “I don’t have to worry about it” is not something available to others.

                    I think that leaving your PGP blank sends a signal that you’re comfortable with your privilege. Taking the opportunity to normalize the sharing of PGPs and thereby drawing others into what is “normal” seems to be a signal more in line with the views that you expressed regarding inclusivity.

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    answered Jan 30 at 3:34

                    DancrumbDancrumb

                    59639

                    59639

                    • 7

                      This one. Offering your preferred pronouns signals that you respect your colleagues pronoun choices. Whether you feel like you should or not, doing so anyway (at no cost to you) sets an example that others will hopefully follow.

                      – kmm
                      Jan 30 at 17:53

                    • 7

                      This one. Offering your preferred pronouns signals that you respect your colleagues pronoun choices. Whether you feel like you should or not, doing so anyway (at no cost to you) sets an example that others will hopefully follow.

                      – kmm
                      Jan 30 at 17:53

                    7

                    7

                    This one. Offering your preferred pronouns signals that you respect your colleagues pronoun choices. Whether you feel like you should or not, doing so anyway (at no cost to you) sets an example that others will hopefully follow.

                    – kmm
                    Jan 30 at 17:53

                    This one. Offering your preferred pronouns signals that you respect your colleagues pronoun choices. Whether you feel like you should or not, doing so anyway (at no cost to you) sets an example that others will hopefully follow.

                    – kmm
                    Jan 30 at 17:53

                    23

                    Any time we visibly violate a social norm, other people notice, and will interpret that non-comformity through their own lens of understanding.

                    Whether abstaining from the practice is worth the possible misinterpretations is an individual judgment of conscience and practicality.


                    Leaving the information out is signalling something, however inadvertently. Exactly what is open to interpretation, but it is a signal. Moreover if, as you say, the majority of participants are including the information then including the information has become a social norm for this event. That means that omitting the information would violate this social norm, and including it would conform to the norm. In these circumstances, the signal sent by omitting pronouns from your name tag will be much stronger than the signal sent by including the information.

                    As an analogy, consider names. I’m not particularly attached to my given name. I don’t hate it and don’t have a better name in mind, I just don’t identify with it very strongly. If people misspell it or mispronounce it or mistake it for something else it doesn’t really bother me. I guess you could say I don’t think of myself in terms of my name. But if I’m at an event where given names on name tags are the norm I still write it on a tag and slap it on my shoulder. Omitting the name tag would be confusing and potentially disconcerting to other people who are looking for that information. Wearing a name tag but leaving it blank would be even worse: that clearly looks like a STATEMENT of some sort, even if I only meant that “you can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner” as my grandfather liked to say. Using my title and/or surname likely looks stuffy.

                    Now, names are not a highly contentious and emotive topic in my area, so at best I would be considered eccentric for omitting my given name, and at worst a crank or a snob. On the other hand, when I do include my name no one assumes that I am making a strong statement in favor of my name or declaring, with Andrew Carnegie, “that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” As one person-wearing-a-name tag in a sea of others, the main thing I’ve signaled is “here is a person who knows the name tag etiquette of this event, whose name is ___.”

                    In the case of personal pronouns, the topic is currently contentious and emotive. That means that if you omit the information when most others are including it the perceived message is likely to be more contentious. At best people might assume you are oblivious, at worst that you are actively dismissive or contemptuous of the practice. You may find people gently asking if you’ve forgotten something, or becoming slightly cooler to you after glancing at your tag—or sidling up to you to “commiserate” about the horrible practice of including pronouns on name tags.

                    If you do include the information, you will also be signalling something. If you were the only person at the event to include pronouns on your name tag then that inclusion would be a violation of the event’s norms. In that case, the message might be interpreted as a protest against gender binarism or a personal quirk, or could just be baffling for individuals who have never seen the practice. But in this case you would be conforming to the social norm, which generally goes unnoticed—when was the last time you looked up in class and thought “Hey! That person is wearing pants! And SHOES!!!”1? So for the vast majority of conference attendees, the message you convey by including pronouns would simply be “here is a person who understands the name tag etiquette of this event, and who prefers ___ pronouns.”


                    1Unless, of course, you come from a place where “pants” means the intimate garment worn under clothing or the norm is some type of clothing other than western dress or are a time-traveller from the Victorian era, in which case seeing a (female) student in pants might well be a shocking violation of the social norm.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 2

                      The main difference between names and pronouns is that in overwhelming majority of cases the pronoun can be inferred by simple observation, whereas a name cannot, so the pronoun information is almost always redundant and unnecessary, while the name one is almost always necessary (for strangers at least)

                      – Maxim
                      Jan 31 at 21:05

                    • 3

                      @Maxim In a community where folks are trying hard not to make assumptions about gender, pronouns become much less obvious and more necessary in order for strangers to feel comfortable addressing you. However, the larger point is that failing to conform to a social norm is more likely to be perceived as an overt message than conforming to that norm, and that message may not be the intended one. Whether the benefits of avoiding the norm (in terms of staying true to conscience, for example) outweigh the potential drawbacks of other folks’ reactions isn’t something we can answer for the OP.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:42

                    • As a less “logical” example: At my institution, we’re supposed to wear our school’s color on Wednesdays. About half the staff, almost all of the administrators, and maybe ten percent of faculty do so. In that atmosphere, I feel comfortable not wearing the color (it’s not my favorite or most flattering color), and no one ever questions me about it. But if “the vast majority” of faculty, students, and staff were participating, I’d have to think harder about whether my dislike of the color was worth the message(s) I would be sending by not wearing it.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:47

                    • 1

                      Good points, and good comments, @1006a.

                      – paul garrett
                      Jan 31 at 23:12

                    • With the clarification it makes more sense, I find that for me at least the “orange” example conveys the message more clearly, as it helps focus on conformity vs non-conformity and not on the nature of the act itself

                      – Maxim
                      Feb 1 at 0:03

                    23

                    Any time we visibly violate a social norm, other people notice, and will interpret that non-comformity through their own lens of understanding.

                    Whether abstaining from the practice is worth the possible misinterpretations is an individual judgment of conscience and practicality.


                    Leaving the information out is signalling something, however inadvertently. Exactly what is open to interpretation, but it is a signal. Moreover if, as you say, the majority of participants are including the information then including the information has become a social norm for this event. That means that omitting the information would violate this social norm, and including it would conform to the norm. In these circumstances, the signal sent by omitting pronouns from your name tag will be much stronger than the signal sent by including the information.

                    As an analogy, consider names. I’m not particularly attached to my given name. I don’t hate it and don’t have a better name in mind, I just don’t identify with it very strongly. If people misspell it or mispronounce it or mistake it for something else it doesn’t really bother me. I guess you could say I don’t think of myself in terms of my name. But if I’m at an event where given names on name tags are the norm I still write it on a tag and slap it on my shoulder. Omitting the name tag would be confusing and potentially disconcerting to other people who are looking for that information. Wearing a name tag but leaving it blank would be even worse: that clearly looks like a STATEMENT of some sort, even if I only meant that “you can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner” as my grandfather liked to say. Using my title and/or surname likely looks stuffy.

                    Now, names are not a highly contentious and emotive topic in my area, so at best I would be considered eccentric for omitting my given name, and at worst a crank or a snob. On the other hand, when I do include my name no one assumes that I am making a strong statement in favor of my name or declaring, with Andrew Carnegie, “that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” As one person-wearing-a-name tag in a sea of others, the main thing I’ve signaled is “here is a person who knows the name tag etiquette of this event, whose name is ___.”

                    In the case of personal pronouns, the topic is currently contentious and emotive. That means that if you omit the information when most others are including it the perceived message is likely to be more contentious. At best people might assume you are oblivious, at worst that you are actively dismissive or contemptuous of the practice. You may find people gently asking if you’ve forgotten something, or becoming slightly cooler to you after glancing at your tag—or sidling up to you to “commiserate” about the horrible practice of including pronouns on name tags.

                    If you do include the information, you will also be signalling something. If you were the only person at the event to include pronouns on your name tag then that inclusion would be a violation of the event’s norms. In that case, the message might be interpreted as a protest against gender binarism or a personal quirk, or could just be baffling for individuals who have never seen the practice. But in this case you would be conforming to the social norm, which generally goes unnoticed—when was the last time you looked up in class and thought “Hey! That person is wearing pants! And SHOES!!!”1? So for the vast majority of conference attendees, the message you convey by including pronouns would simply be “here is a person who understands the name tag etiquette of this event, and who prefers ___ pronouns.”


                    1Unless, of course, you come from a place where “pants” means the intimate garment worn under clothing or the norm is some type of clothing other than western dress or are a time-traveller from the Victorian era, in which case seeing a (female) student in pants might well be a shocking violation of the social norm.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 2

                      The main difference between names and pronouns is that in overwhelming majority of cases the pronoun can be inferred by simple observation, whereas a name cannot, so the pronoun information is almost always redundant and unnecessary, while the name one is almost always necessary (for strangers at least)

                      – Maxim
                      Jan 31 at 21:05

                    • 3

                      @Maxim In a community where folks are trying hard not to make assumptions about gender, pronouns become much less obvious and more necessary in order for strangers to feel comfortable addressing you. However, the larger point is that failing to conform to a social norm is more likely to be perceived as an overt message than conforming to that norm, and that message may not be the intended one. Whether the benefits of avoiding the norm (in terms of staying true to conscience, for example) outweigh the potential drawbacks of other folks’ reactions isn’t something we can answer for the OP.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:42

                    • As a less “logical” example: At my institution, we’re supposed to wear our school’s color on Wednesdays. About half the staff, almost all of the administrators, and maybe ten percent of faculty do so. In that atmosphere, I feel comfortable not wearing the color (it’s not my favorite or most flattering color), and no one ever questions me about it. But if “the vast majority” of faculty, students, and staff were participating, I’d have to think harder about whether my dislike of the color was worth the message(s) I would be sending by not wearing it.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:47

                    • 1

                      Good points, and good comments, @1006a.

                      – paul garrett
                      Jan 31 at 23:12

                    • With the clarification it makes more sense, I find that for me at least the “orange” example conveys the message more clearly, as it helps focus on conformity vs non-conformity and not on the nature of the act itself

                      – Maxim
                      Feb 1 at 0:03

                    23

                    23

                    23

                    Any time we visibly violate a social norm, other people notice, and will interpret that non-comformity through their own lens of understanding.

                    Whether abstaining from the practice is worth the possible misinterpretations is an individual judgment of conscience and practicality.


                    Leaving the information out is signalling something, however inadvertently. Exactly what is open to interpretation, but it is a signal. Moreover if, as you say, the majority of participants are including the information then including the information has become a social norm for this event. That means that omitting the information would violate this social norm, and including it would conform to the norm. In these circumstances, the signal sent by omitting pronouns from your name tag will be much stronger than the signal sent by including the information.

                    As an analogy, consider names. I’m not particularly attached to my given name. I don’t hate it and don’t have a better name in mind, I just don’t identify with it very strongly. If people misspell it or mispronounce it or mistake it for something else it doesn’t really bother me. I guess you could say I don’t think of myself in terms of my name. But if I’m at an event where given names on name tags are the norm I still write it on a tag and slap it on my shoulder. Omitting the name tag would be confusing and potentially disconcerting to other people who are looking for that information. Wearing a name tag but leaving it blank would be even worse: that clearly looks like a STATEMENT of some sort, even if I only meant that “you can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner” as my grandfather liked to say. Using my title and/or surname likely looks stuffy.

                    Now, names are not a highly contentious and emotive topic in my area, so at best I would be considered eccentric for omitting my given name, and at worst a crank or a snob. On the other hand, when I do include my name no one assumes that I am making a strong statement in favor of my name or declaring, with Andrew Carnegie, “that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” As one person-wearing-a-name tag in a sea of others, the main thing I’ve signaled is “here is a person who knows the name tag etiquette of this event, whose name is ___.”

                    In the case of personal pronouns, the topic is currently contentious and emotive. That means that if you omit the information when most others are including it the perceived message is likely to be more contentious. At best people might assume you are oblivious, at worst that you are actively dismissive or contemptuous of the practice. You may find people gently asking if you’ve forgotten something, or becoming slightly cooler to you after glancing at your tag—or sidling up to you to “commiserate” about the horrible practice of including pronouns on name tags.

                    If you do include the information, you will also be signalling something. If you were the only person at the event to include pronouns on your name tag then that inclusion would be a violation of the event’s norms. In that case, the message might be interpreted as a protest against gender binarism or a personal quirk, or could just be baffling for individuals who have never seen the practice. But in this case you would be conforming to the social norm, which generally goes unnoticed—when was the last time you looked up in class and thought “Hey! That person is wearing pants! And SHOES!!!”1? So for the vast majority of conference attendees, the message you convey by including pronouns would simply be “here is a person who understands the name tag etiquette of this event, and who prefers ___ pronouns.”


                    1Unless, of course, you come from a place where “pants” means the intimate garment worn under clothing or the norm is some type of clothing other than western dress or are a time-traveller from the Victorian era, in which case seeing a (female) student in pants might well be a shocking violation of the social norm.

                    share|improve this answer

                    Any time we visibly violate a social norm, other people notice, and will interpret that non-comformity through their own lens of understanding.

                    Whether abstaining from the practice is worth the possible misinterpretations is an individual judgment of conscience and practicality.


                    Leaving the information out is signalling something, however inadvertently. Exactly what is open to interpretation, but it is a signal. Moreover if, as you say, the majority of participants are including the information then including the information has become a social norm for this event. That means that omitting the information would violate this social norm, and including it would conform to the norm. In these circumstances, the signal sent by omitting pronouns from your name tag will be much stronger than the signal sent by including the information.

                    As an analogy, consider names. I’m not particularly attached to my given name. I don’t hate it and don’t have a better name in mind, I just don’t identify with it very strongly. If people misspell it or mispronounce it or mistake it for something else it doesn’t really bother me. I guess you could say I don’t think of myself in terms of my name. But if I’m at an event where given names on name tags are the norm I still write it on a tag and slap it on my shoulder. Omitting the name tag would be confusing and potentially disconcerting to other people who are looking for that information. Wearing a name tag but leaving it blank would be even worse: that clearly looks like a STATEMENT of some sort, even if I only meant that “you can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner” as my grandfather liked to say. Using my title and/or surname likely looks stuffy.

                    Now, names are not a highly contentious and emotive topic in my area, so at best I would be considered eccentric for omitting my given name, and at worst a crank or a snob. On the other hand, when I do include my name no one assumes that I am making a strong statement in favor of my name or declaring, with Andrew Carnegie, “that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” As one person-wearing-a-name tag in a sea of others, the main thing I’ve signaled is “here is a person who knows the name tag etiquette of this event, whose name is ___.”

                    In the case of personal pronouns, the topic is currently contentious and emotive. That means that if you omit the information when most others are including it the perceived message is likely to be more contentious. At best people might assume you are oblivious, at worst that you are actively dismissive or contemptuous of the practice. You may find people gently asking if you’ve forgotten something, or becoming slightly cooler to you after glancing at your tag—or sidling up to you to “commiserate” about the horrible practice of including pronouns on name tags.

                    If you do include the information, you will also be signalling something. If you were the only person at the event to include pronouns on your name tag then that inclusion would be a violation of the event’s norms. In that case, the message might be interpreted as a protest against gender binarism or a personal quirk, or could just be baffling for individuals who have never seen the practice. But in this case you would be conforming to the social norm, which generally goes unnoticed—when was the last time you looked up in class and thought “Hey! That person is wearing pants! And SHOES!!!”1? So for the vast majority of conference attendees, the message you convey by including pronouns would simply be “here is a person who understands the name tag etiquette of this event, and who prefers ___ pronouns.”


                    1Unless, of course, you come from a place where “pants” means the intimate garment worn under clothing or the norm is some type of clothing other than western dress or are a time-traveller from the Victorian era, in which case seeing a (female) student in pants might well be a shocking violation of the social norm.

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    edited Jan 31 at 23:10

                    answered Jan 30 at 21:06

                    1006a1006a

                    3,5051918

                    3,5051918

                    • 2

                      The main difference between names and pronouns is that in overwhelming majority of cases the pronoun can be inferred by simple observation, whereas a name cannot, so the pronoun information is almost always redundant and unnecessary, while the name one is almost always necessary (for strangers at least)

                      – Maxim
                      Jan 31 at 21:05

                    • 3

                      @Maxim In a community where folks are trying hard not to make assumptions about gender, pronouns become much less obvious and more necessary in order for strangers to feel comfortable addressing you. However, the larger point is that failing to conform to a social norm is more likely to be perceived as an overt message than conforming to that norm, and that message may not be the intended one. Whether the benefits of avoiding the norm (in terms of staying true to conscience, for example) outweigh the potential drawbacks of other folks’ reactions isn’t something we can answer for the OP.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:42

                    • As a less “logical” example: At my institution, we’re supposed to wear our school’s color on Wednesdays. About half the staff, almost all of the administrators, and maybe ten percent of faculty do so. In that atmosphere, I feel comfortable not wearing the color (it’s not my favorite or most flattering color), and no one ever questions me about it. But if “the vast majority” of faculty, students, and staff were participating, I’d have to think harder about whether my dislike of the color was worth the message(s) I would be sending by not wearing it.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:47

                    • 1

                      Good points, and good comments, @1006a.

                      – paul garrett
                      Jan 31 at 23:12

                    • With the clarification it makes more sense, I find that for me at least the “orange” example conveys the message more clearly, as it helps focus on conformity vs non-conformity and not on the nature of the act itself

                      – Maxim
                      Feb 1 at 0:03

                    • 2

                      The main difference between names and pronouns is that in overwhelming majority of cases the pronoun can be inferred by simple observation, whereas a name cannot, so the pronoun information is almost always redundant and unnecessary, while the name one is almost always necessary (for strangers at least)

                      – Maxim
                      Jan 31 at 21:05

                    • 3

                      @Maxim In a community where folks are trying hard not to make assumptions about gender, pronouns become much less obvious and more necessary in order for strangers to feel comfortable addressing you. However, the larger point is that failing to conform to a social norm is more likely to be perceived as an overt message than conforming to that norm, and that message may not be the intended one. Whether the benefits of avoiding the norm (in terms of staying true to conscience, for example) outweigh the potential drawbacks of other folks’ reactions isn’t something we can answer for the OP.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:42

                    • As a less “logical” example: At my institution, we’re supposed to wear our school’s color on Wednesdays. About half the staff, almost all of the administrators, and maybe ten percent of faculty do so. In that atmosphere, I feel comfortable not wearing the color (it’s not my favorite or most flattering color), and no one ever questions me about it. But if “the vast majority” of faculty, students, and staff were participating, I’d have to think harder about whether my dislike of the color was worth the message(s) I would be sending by not wearing it.

                      – 1006a
                      Jan 31 at 22:47

                    • 1

                      Good points, and good comments, @1006a.

                      – paul garrett
                      Jan 31 at 23:12

                    • With the clarification it makes more sense, I find that for me at least the “orange” example conveys the message more clearly, as it helps focus on conformity vs non-conformity and not on the nature of the act itself

                      – Maxim
                      Feb 1 at 0:03

                    2

                    2

                    The main difference between names and pronouns is that in overwhelming majority of cases the pronoun can be inferred by simple observation, whereas a name cannot, so the pronoun information is almost always redundant and unnecessary, while the name one is almost always necessary (for strangers at least)

                    – Maxim
                    Jan 31 at 21:05

                    The main difference between names and pronouns is that in overwhelming majority of cases the pronoun can be inferred by simple observation, whereas a name cannot, so the pronoun information is almost always redundant and unnecessary, while the name one is almost always necessary (for strangers at least)

                    – Maxim
                    Jan 31 at 21:05

                    3

                    3

                    @Maxim In a community where folks are trying hard not to make assumptions about gender, pronouns become much less obvious and more necessary in order for strangers to feel comfortable addressing you. However, the larger point is that failing to conform to a social norm is more likely to be perceived as an overt message than conforming to that norm, and that message may not be the intended one. Whether the benefits of avoiding the norm (in terms of staying true to conscience, for example) outweigh the potential drawbacks of other folks’ reactions isn’t something we can answer for the OP.

                    – 1006a
                    Jan 31 at 22:42

                    @Maxim In a community where folks are trying hard not to make assumptions about gender, pronouns become much less obvious and more necessary in order for strangers to feel comfortable addressing you. However, the larger point is that failing to conform to a social norm is more likely to be perceived as an overt message than conforming to that norm, and that message may not be the intended one. Whether the benefits of avoiding the norm (in terms of staying true to conscience, for example) outweigh the potential drawbacks of other folks’ reactions isn’t something we can answer for the OP.

                    – 1006a
                    Jan 31 at 22:42

                    As a less “logical” example: At my institution, we’re supposed to wear our school’s color on Wednesdays. About half the staff, almost all of the administrators, and maybe ten percent of faculty do so. In that atmosphere, I feel comfortable not wearing the color (it’s not my favorite or most flattering color), and no one ever questions me about it. But if “the vast majority” of faculty, students, and staff were participating, I’d have to think harder about whether my dislike of the color was worth the message(s) I would be sending by not wearing it.

                    – 1006a
                    Jan 31 at 22:47

                    As a less “logical” example: At my institution, we’re supposed to wear our school’s color on Wednesdays. About half the staff, almost all of the administrators, and maybe ten percent of faculty do so. In that atmosphere, I feel comfortable not wearing the color (it’s not my favorite or most flattering color), and no one ever questions me about it. But if “the vast majority” of faculty, students, and staff were participating, I’d have to think harder about whether my dislike of the color was worth the message(s) I would be sending by not wearing it.

                    – 1006a
                    Jan 31 at 22:47

                    1

                    1

                    Good points, and good comments, @1006a.

                    – paul garrett
                    Jan 31 at 23:12

                    Good points, and good comments, @1006a.

                    – paul garrett
                    Jan 31 at 23:12

                    With the clarification it makes more sense, I find that for me at least the “orange” example conveys the message more clearly, as it helps focus on conformity vs non-conformity and not on the nature of the act itself

                    – Maxim
                    Feb 1 at 0:03

                    With the clarification it makes more sense, I find that for me at least the “orange” example conveys the message more clearly, as it helps focus on conformity vs non-conformity and not on the nature of the act itself

                    – Maxim
                    Feb 1 at 0:03

                    22

                    Not really disrespectful, but perhaps inadvertently signalling that you yourself don’t have to worry about such things, because society’s default works for you. Or, as often happens, signalling that due to your good fortune you are oblivious to the whole issue, etc. If you’d like to instead signal your awareness, I’d think do indicate your preferred pronouns.

                    (For what it’s worth, I need to get around to systematically doing this on my web pages…)

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 33

                      How would you advise OP to behave if they don’t want to “signal” anything?

                      – Dan Romik
                      Jan 30 at 0:52

                    • 6

                      @PatrickB. But not wanting to signal something doesn’t mean they want to signal its opposite. This answer tells OP how to signal the oppsite, but does not tell OP how to not signal anything.

                      – JiK
                      Jan 30 at 1:31

                    • 14

                      @ClimbsRocks I’d advise against putting something unusual or jokey in place of a PGP, since that could easily be interpreted as making fun of or trivializing them. It could also communicate something inaccurate (e.g., someone might read “X” as “agender”). In general, putting something unusual in the PGP field or leaving it blank will call much more attention to your decision than simply putting the pronoun you actually use, which most people will find unremarkable.

                      – Patrick B.
                      Jan 30 at 3:09

                    • 8

                      @DanRomik: at a conference where everybody is asked to put their preferred gender pronoun to put on a visible tag to wear, I don’t think not signalling anything is possible.

                      – RemcoGerlich
                      Jan 30 at 8:47

                    • 3

                      @DanRomik That’s simply impossible. Every action signals something, even if inadvertently (ClimbsRocks suggestion is in fact a pretty strong signal and therefore a terrible idea). The only valid and helpful recommendation is therefore for OP to accept that they might be seen as signaling

                      – Konrad Rudolph
                      Jan 30 at 15:51

                    22

                    Not really disrespectful, but perhaps inadvertently signalling that you yourself don’t have to worry about such things, because society’s default works for you. Or, as often happens, signalling that due to your good fortune you are oblivious to the whole issue, etc. If you’d like to instead signal your awareness, I’d think do indicate your preferred pronouns.

                    (For what it’s worth, I need to get around to systematically doing this on my web pages…)

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 33

                      How would you advise OP to behave if they don’t want to “signal” anything?

                      – Dan Romik
                      Jan 30 at 0:52

                    • 6

                      @PatrickB. But not wanting to signal something doesn’t mean they want to signal its opposite. This answer tells OP how to signal the oppsite, but does not tell OP how to not signal anything.

                      – JiK
                      Jan 30 at 1:31

                    • 14

                      @ClimbsRocks I’d advise against putting something unusual or jokey in place of a PGP, since that could easily be interpreted as making fun of or trivializing them. It could also communicate something inaccurate (e.g., someone might read “X” as “agender”). In general, putting something unusual in the PGP field or leaving it blank will call much more attention to your decision than simply putting the pronoun you actually use, which most people will find unremarkable.

                      – Patrick B.
                      Jan 30 at 3:09

                    • 8

                      @DanRomik: at a conference where everybody is asked to put their preferred gender pronoun to put on a visible tag to wear, I don’t think not signalling anything is possible.

                      – RemcoGerlich
                      Jan 30 at 8:47

                    • 3

                      @DanRomik That’s simply impossible. Every action signals something, even if inadvertently (ClimbsRocks suggestion is in fact a pretty strong signal and therefore a terrible idea). The only valid and helpful recommendation is therefore for OP to accept that they might be seen as signaling

                      – Konrad Rudolph
                      Jan 30 at 15:51

                    22

                    22

                    22

                    Not really disrespectful, but perhaps inadvertently signalling that you yourself don’t have to worry about such things, because society’s default works for you. Or, as often happens, signalling that due to your good fortune you are oblivious to the whole issue, etc. If you’d like to instead signal your awareness, I’d think do indicate your preferred pronouns.

                    (For what it’s worth, I need to get around to systematically doing this on my web pages…)

                    share|improve this answer

                    Not really disrespectful, but perhaps inadvertently signalling that you yourself don’t have to worry about such things, because society’s default works for you. Or, as often happens, signalling that due to your good fortune you are oblivious to the whole issue, etc. If you’d like to instead signal your awareness, I’d think do indicate your preferred pronouns.

                    (For what it’s worth, I need to get around to systematically doing this on my web pages…)

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    answered Jan 29 at 23:30

                    paul garrettpaul garrett

                    50.3k493209

                    50.3k493209

                    • 33

                      How would you advise OP to behave if they don’t want to “signal” anything?

                      – Dan Romik
                      Jan 30 at 0:52

                    • 6

                      @PatrickB. But not wanting to signal something doesn’t mean they want to signal its opposite. This answer tells OP how to signal the oppsite, but does not tell OP how to not signal anything.

                      – JiK
                      Jan 30 at 1:31

                    • 14

                      @ClimbsRocks I’d advise against putting something unusual or jokey in place of a PGP, since that could easily be interpreted as making fun of or trivializing them. It could also communicate something inaccurate (e.g., someone might read “X” as “agender”). In general, putting something unusual in the PGP field or leaving it blank will call much more attention to your decision than simply putting the pronoun you actually use, which most people will find unremarkable.

                      – Patrick B.
                      Jan 30 at 3:09

                    • 8

                      @DanRomik: at a conference where everybody is asked to put their preferred gender pronoun to put on a visible tag to wear, I don’t think not signalling anything is possible.

                      – RemcoGerlich
                      Jan 30 at 8:47

                    • 3

                      @DanRomik That’s simply impossible. Every action signals something, even if inadvertently (ClimbsRocks suggestion is in fact a pretty strong signal and therefore a terrible idea). The only valid and helpful recommendation is therefore for OP to accept that they might be seen as signaling

                      – Konrad Rudolph
                      Jan 30 at 15:51

                    • 33

                      How would you advise OP to behave if they don’t want to “signal” anything?

                      – Dan Romik
                      Jan 30 at 0:52

                    • 6

                      @PatrickB. But not wanting to signal something doesn’t mean they want to signal its opposite. This answer tells OP how to signal the oppsite, but does not tell OP how to not signal anything.

                      – JiK
                      Jan 30 at 1:31

                    • 14

                      @ClimbsRocks I’d advise against putting something unusual or jokey in place of a PGP, since that could easily be interpreted as making fun of or trivializing them. It could also communicate something inaccurate (e.g., someone might read “X” as “agender”). In general, putting something unusual in the PGP field or leaving it blank will call much more attention to your decision than simply putting the pronoun you actually use, which most people will find unremarkable.

                      – Patrick B.
                      Jan 30 at 3:09

                    • 8

                      @DanRomik: at a conference where everybody is asked to put their preferred gender pronoun to put on a visible tag to wear, I don’t think not signalling anything is possible.

                      – RemcoGerlich
                      Jan 30 at 8:47

                    • 3

                      @DanRomik That’s simply impossible. Every action signals something, even if inadvertently (ClimbsRocks suggestion is in fact a pretty strong signal and therefore a terrible idea). The only valid and helpful recommendation is therefore for OP to accept that they might be seen as signaling

                      – Konrad Rudolph
                      Jan 30 at 15:51

                    33

                    33

                    How would you advise OP to behave if they don’t want to “signal” anything?

                    – Dan Romik
                    Jan 30 at 0:52

                    How would you advise OP to behave if they don’t want to “signal” anything?

                    – Dan Romik
                    Jan 30 at 0:52

                    6

                    6

                    @PatrickB. But not wanting to signal something doesn’t mean they want to signal its opposite. This answer tells OP how to signal the oppsite, but does not tell OP how to not signal anything.

                    – JiK
                    Jan 30 at 1:31

                    @PatrickB. But not wanting to signal something doesn’t mean they want to signal its opposite. This answer tells OP how to signal the oppsite, but does not tell OP how to not signal anything.

                    – JiK
                    Jan 30 at 1:31

                    14

                    14

                    @ClimbsRocks I’d advise against putting something unusual or jokey in place of a PGP, since that could easily be interpreted as making fun of or trivializing them. It could also communicate something inaccurate (e.g., someone might read “X” as “agender”). In general, putting something unusual in the PGP field or leaving it blank will call much more attention to your decision than simply putting the pronoun you actually use, which most people will find unremarkable.

                    – Patrick B.
                    Jan 30 at 3:09

                    @ClimbsRocks I’d advise against putting something unusual or jokey in place of a PGP, since that could easily be interpreted as making fun of or trivializing them. It could also communicate something inaccurate (e.g., someone might read “X” as “agender”). In general, putting something unusual in the PGP field or leaving it blank will call much more attention to your decision than simply putting the pronoun you actually use, which most people will find unremarkable.

                    – Patrick B.
                    Jan 30 at 3:09

                    8

                    8

                    @DanRomik: at a conference where everybody is asked to put their preferred gender pronoun to put on a visible tag to wear, I don’t think not signalling anything is possible.

                    – RemcoGerlich
                    Jan 30 at 8:47

                    @DanRomik: at a conference where everybody is asked to put their preferred gender pronoun to put on a visible tag to wear, I don’t think not signalling anything is possible.

                    – RemcoGerlich
                    Jan 30 at 8:47

                    3

                    3

                    @DanRomik That’s simply impossible. Every action signals something, even if inadvertently (ClimbsRocks suggestion is in fact a pretty strong signal and therefore a terrible idea). The only valid and helpful recommendation is therefore for OP to accept that they might be seen as signaling

                    – Konrad Rudolph
                    Jan 30 at 15:51

                    @DanRomik That’s simply impossible. Every action signals something, even if inadvertently (ClimbsRocks suggestion is in fact a pretty strong signal and therefore a terrible idea). The only valid and helpful recommendation is therefore for OP to accept that they might be seen as signaling

                    – Konrad Rudolph
                    Jan 30 at 15:51

                    18

                    I don’t think it’s disrespectful to leave it blank.

                    However, it doesn’t cost you anything to fill it in, and by filling it in you are demonstrating that you think that it is a reasonable question and supporting the right of others, who may want to write something more surprising, to do so.

                    Hence, unless you feel strongly that this question should not be asked, I recommend filling it in as a supportive / ally action.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 1

                      Absolutely this! If the OP doesn’t feel strongly about the issue, it would be helpful to others for them to put something in the blank that they are comfortable with people referring to them as (I can’t imagine most people prefer others not use pronouns at all!). If only transgender/gender variant people put pronouns on, that singles them out, but if everyone does it, then it normalizes it and makes it more comfortable for everyone.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 30 at 15:27

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage It makes it more comfortable for everyone except people who don’t have a strong gender identity.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 9:51

                    • @soueuls That’s why the answer says it’s not disrespectful, but it’s asking the OP to consider the benefit to the underrepresented if they don’t really have an issue with it. That said, I’m not sure how uncomfortable this would really be if everyone were doing it, even to some without a strong gender identity. As I said, you do use pronouns, right? If you don’t, that would be different, but as long as you use pronouns, there has to be something that you’re more comfortable with being referred to as.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 31 at 13:48

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage Yes I use pronouns when I address people, depending on which language I am speaking. But I don’t dehumanize my social interactions by walking around having my pronouns displayed on my chest. I heard someone advising to write down preferred pronouns on your phone book just so you don’t offend anyone. I do prefer excluding myself from any of these social interactions than wasting an ounce of energy thinking about this.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 14:48

                    18

                    I don’t think it’s disrespectful to leave it blank.

                    However, it doesn’t cost you anything to fill it in, and by filling it in you are demonstrating that you think that it is a reasonable question and supporting the right of others, who may want to write something more surprising, to do so.

                    Hence, unless you feel strongly that this question should not be asked, I recommend filling it in as a supportive / ally action.

                    share|improve this answer

                    • 1

                      Absolutely this! If the OP doesn’t feel strongly about the issue, it would be helpful to others for them to put something in the blank that they are comfortable with people referring to them as (I can’t imagine most people prefer others not use pronouns at all!). If only transgender/gender variant people put pronouns on, that singles them out, but if everyone does it, then it normalizes it and makes it more comfortable for everyone.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 30 at 15:27

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage It makes it more comfortable for everyone except people who don’t have a strong gender identity.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 9:51

                    • @soueuls That’s why the answer says it’s not disrespectful, but it’s asking the OP to consider the benefit to the underrepresented if they don’t really have an issue with it. That said, I’m not sure how uncomfortable this would really be if everyone were doing it, even to some without a strong gender identity. As I said, you do use pronouns, right? If you don’t, that would be different, but as long as you use pronouns, there has to be something that you’re more comfortable with being referred to as.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 31 at 13:48

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage Yes I use pronouns when I address people, depending on which language I am speaking. But I don’t dehumanize my social interactions by walking around having my pronouns displayed on my chest. I heard someone advising to write down preferred pronouns on your phone book just so you don’t offend anyone. I do prefer excluding myself from any of these social interactions than wasting an ounce of energy thinking about this.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 14:48

                    18

                    18

                    18

                    I don’t think it’s disrespectful to leave it blank.

                    However, it doesn’t cost you anything to fill it in, and by filling it in you are demonstrating that you think that it is a reasonable question and supporting the right of others, who may want to write something more surprising, to do so.

                    Hence, unless you feel strongly that this question should not be asked, I recommend filling it in as a supportive / ally action.

                    share|improve this answer

                    I don’t think it’s disrespectful to leave it blank.

                    However, it doesn’t cost you anything to fill it in, and by filling it in you are demonstrating that you think that it is a reasonable question and supporting the right of others, who may want to write something more surprising, to do so.

                    Hence, unless you feel strongly that this question should not be asked, I recommend filling it in as a supportive / ally action.

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    share|improve this answer

                    answered Jan 30 at 10:48

                    FlytoFlyto

                    4,7331335

                    4,7331335

                    • 1

                      Absolutely this! If the OP doesn’t feel strongly about the issue, it would be helpful to others for them to put something in the blank that they are comfortable with people referring to them as (I can’t imagine most people prefer others not use pronouns at all!). If only transgender/gender variant people put pronouns on, that singles them out, but if everyone does it, then it normalizes it and makes it more comfortable for everyone.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 30 at 15:27

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage It makes it more comfortable for everyone except people who don’t have a strong gender identity.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 9:51

                    • @soueuls That’s why the answer says it’s not disrespectful, but it’s asking the OP to consider the benefit to the underrepresented if they don’t really have an issue with it. That said, I’m not sure how uncomfortable this would really be if everyone were doing it, even to some without a strong gender identity. As I said, you do use pronouns, right? If you don’t, that would be different, but as long as you use pronouns, there has to be something that you’re more comfortable with being referred to as.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 31 at 13:48

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage Yes I use pronouns when I address people, depending on which language I am speaking. But I don’t dehumanize my social interactions by walking around having my pronouns displayed on my chest. I heard someone advising to write down preferred pronouns on your phone book just so you don’t offend anyone. I do prefer excluding myself from any of these social interactions than wasting an ounce of energy thinking about this.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 14:48

                    • 1

                      Absolutely this! If the OP doesn’t feel strongly about the issue, it would be helpful to others for them to put something in the blank that they are comfortable with people referring to them as (I can’t imagine most people prefer others not use pronouns at all!). If only transgender/gender variant people put pronouns on, that singles them out, but if everyone does it, then it normalizes it and makes it more comfortable for everyone.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 30 at 15:27

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage It makes it more comfortable for everyone except people who don’t have a strong gender identity.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 9:51

                    • @soueuls That’s why the answer says it’s not disrespectful, but it’s asking the OP to consider the benefit to the underrepresented if they don’t really have an issue with it. That said, I’m not sure how uncomfortable this would really be if everyone were doing it, even to some without a strong gender identity. As I said, you do use pronouns, right? If you don’t, that would be different, but as long as you use pronouns, there has to be something that you’re more comfortable with being referred to as.

                      – called2voyage
                      Jan 31 at 13:48

                    • 1

                      @called2voyage Yes I use pronouns when I address people, depending on which language I am speaking. But I don’t dehumanize my social interactions by walking around having my pronouns displayed on my chest. I heard someone advising to write down preferred pronouns on your phone book just so you don’t offend anyone. I do prefer excluding myself from any of these social interactions than wasting an ounce of energy thinking about this.

                      – soueuls
                      Jan 31 at 14:48

                    1

                    1

                    Absolutely this! If the OP doesn’t feel strongly about the issue, it would be helpful to others for them to put something in the blank that they are comfortable with people referring to them as (I can’t imagine most people prefer others not use pronouns at all!). If only transgender/gender variant people put pronouns on, that singles them out, but if everyone does it, then it normalizes it and makes it more comfortable for everyone.

                    – called2voyage
                    Jan 30 at 15:27

                    Absolutely this! If the OP doesn’t feel strongly about the issue, it would be helpful to others for them to put something in the blank that they are comfortable with people referring to them as (I can’t imagine most people prefer others not use pronouns at all!). If only transgender/gender variant people put pronouns on, that singles them out, but if everyone does it, then it normalizes it and makes it more comfortable for everyone.

                    – called2voyage
                    Jan 30 at 15:27

                    1

                    1

                    @called2voyage It makes it more comfortable for everyone except people who don’t have a strong gender identity.

                    – soueuls
                    Jan 31 at 9:51

                    @called2voyage It makes it more comfortable for everyone except people who don’t have a strong gender identity.

                    – soueuls
                    Jan 31 at 9:51

                    @soueuls That’s why the answer says it’s not disrespectful, but it’s asking the OP to consider the benefit to the underrepresented if they don’t really have an issue with it. That said, I’m not sure how uncomfortable this would really be if everyone were doing it, even to some without a strong gender identity. As I said, you do use pronouns, right? If you don’t, that would be different, but as long as you use pronouns, there has to be something that you’re more comfortable with being referred to as.

                    – called2voyage
                    Jan 31 at 13:48

                    @soueuls That’s why the answer says it’s not disrespectful, but it’s asking the OP to consider the benefit to the underrepresented if they don’t really have an issue with it. That said, I’m not sure how uncomfortable this would really be if everyone were doing it, even to some without a strong gender identity. As I said, you do use pronouns, right? If you don’t, that would be different, but as long as you use pronouns, there has to be something that you’re more comfortable with being referred to as.

                    – called2voyage
                    Jan 31 at 13:48

                    1

                    1

                    @called2voyage Yes I use pronouns when I address people, depending on which language I am speaking. But I don’t dehumanize my social interactions by walking around having my pronouns displayed on my chest. I heard someone advising to write down preferred pronouns on your phone book just so you don’t offend anyone. I do prefer excluding myself from any of these social interactions than wasting an ounce of energy thinking about this.

                    – soueuls
                    Jan 31 at 14:48

                    @called2voyage Yes I use pronouns when I address people, depending on which language I am speaking. But I don’t dehumanize my social interactions by walking around having my pronouns displayed on my chest. I heard someone advising to write down preferred pronouns on your phone book just so you don’t offend anyone. I do prefer excluding myself from any of these social interactions than wasting an ounce of energy thinking about this.

                    – soueuls
                    Jan 31 at 14:48

                    15

                    No, you are not disrespectful. Ideally (not in the real world, unfortunately) the only people who would object are those who would find unreasonable ways to disrespect you.

                    It is good that it is optional, as it should be. Everyone should have the freedom to define their own identity in these matters. If others want to define you, it isn’t necessary to assist them.

                    Of course, this is just my opinion. But your own opinion is the one that should matter.

                    share|improve this answer

                      15

                      No, you are not disrespectful. Ideally (not in the real world, unfortunately) the only people who would object are those who would find unreasonable ways to disrespect you.

                      It is good that it is optional, as it should be. Everyone should have the freedom to define their own identity in these matters. If others want to define you, it isn’t necessary to assist them.

                      Of course, this is just my opinion. But your own opinion is the one that should matter.

                      share|improve this answer

                        15

                        15

                        15

                        No, you are not disrespectful. Ideally (not in the real world, unfortunately) the only people who would object are those who would find unreasonable ways to disrespect you.

                        It is good that it is optional, as it should be. Everyone should have the freedom to define their own identity in these matters. If others want to define you, it isn’t necessary to assist them.

                        Of course, this is just my opinion. But your own opinion is the one that should matter.

                        share|improve this answer

                        No, you are not disrespectful. Ideally (not in the real world, unfortunately) the only people who would object are those who would find unreasonable ways to disrespect you.

                        It is good that it is optional, as it should be. Everyone should have the freedom to define their own identity in these matters. If others want to define you, it isn’t necessary to assist them.

                        Of course, this is just my opinion. But your own opinion is the one that should matter.

                        share|improve this answer

                        share|improve this answer

                        share|improve this answer

                        answered Jan 29 at 23:03

                        BuffyBuffy

                        47.6k13154240

                        47.6k13154240

                            14

                            It sounds like if it is optional, then it is just that: optional.

                            If you wrote your PGP as “he/him” maybe that would signal an even stronger belief in binary gender norms.

                            We can respect people who request to be called by a certain PGP. But we do not need to feel obligated to disclose our own view on the subject via means of a nametag.

                            share|improve this answer

                            • 36

                              Writing your PGP absolutely does not signal a belief in binary gender.

                              – Dancrumb
                              Jan 30 at 3:27

                            • 1

                              @Dancrumb As a transgender woman, I am of the opinion that the OP is strongly signaling the OP’s preference for cisgendered people by stating the OP’s preferred gender pronoun. The OP is forcing a belief upon me that insinuates that I am somehow lesser because I choose not to be cisgendered.

                              – Vladhagen
                              Jan 30 at 3:49

                            • 22

                              Then why do you want preferred gender pronouns to be displayed on badges at all, if someone else stating their preference is “forcing a belief on you that insinuates you are somehow lesser”? If you want others to call you by a particular pronoun, how is that not forcing a belief on others than insinuates something about them? This answer doesn’t answer the question and with your comment it’s even less clear than it was before that.

                              – Wildcard
                              Jan 30 at 5:06

                            • 6

                              @Vladhagen As someone with a number of trans* and cross-dressing friends, my trans* friends are unanimous that it wasn’t a “choice”, it was who they were. My CD friends are equally clear that it’s something they like but they wouldn’t do it full time or consider transitioning. You’re free to express yourself how you want, of course, but your selection of words there could be misunderstood. And militant anti-binaryism does not fit with you considering it a “choice”.

                              – Graham
                              Jan 30 at 8:34

                            • 1

                              @Graham the whole “choice” narrative is a contentious one among transgender people. The fact is, for some people “it wasn’t a choice” fits very well, and for some people it’s more complicated than that, and enforcing a single narrative onto all trans people ends up erasing a lot of people’s real experiences for the sake of marginal PR gains. Please don’t talk over a trans person’s description of their own experience, especially if you’re only citing the words of your friends.

                              – dn3s
                              Feb 1 at 19:01

                            14

                            It sounds like if it is optional, then it is just that: optional.

                            If you wrote your PGP as “he/him” maybe that would signal an even stronger belief in binary gender norms.

                            We can respect people who request to be called by a certain PGP. But we do not need to feel obligated to disclose our own view on the subject via means of a nametag.

                            share|improve this answer

                            • 36

                              Writing your PGP absolutely does not signal a belief in binary gender.

                              – Dancrumb
                              Jan 30 at 3:27

                            • 1

                              @Dancrumb As a transgender woman, I am of the opinion that the OP is strongly signaling the OP’s preference for cisgendered people by stating the OP’s preferred gender pronoun. The OP is forcing a belief upon me that insinuates that I am somehow lesser because I choose not to be cisgendered.

                              – Vladhagen
                              Jan 30 at 3:49

                            • 22

                              Then why do you want preferred gender pronouns to be displayed on badges at all, if someone else stating their preference is “forcing a belief on you that insinuates you are somehow lesser”? If you want others to call you by a particular pronoun, how is that not forcing a belief on others than insinuates something about them? This answer doesn’t answer the question and with your comment it’s even less clear than it was before that.

                              – Wildcard
                              Jan 30 at 5:06

                            • 6

                              @Vladhagen As someone with a number of trans* and cross-dressing friends, my trans* friends are unanimous that it wasn’t a “choice”, it was who they were. My CD friends are equally clear that it’s something they like but they wouldn’t do it full time or consider transitioning. You’re free to express yourself how you want, of course, but your selection of words there could be misunderstood. And militant anti-binaryism does not fit with you considering it a “choice”.

                              – Graham
                              Jan 30 at 8:34

                            • 1

                              @Graham the whole “choice” narrative is a contentious one among transgender people. The fact is, for some people “it wasn’t a choice” fits very well, and for some people it’s more complicated than that, and enforcing a single narrative onto all trans people ends up erasing a lot of people’s real experiences for the sake of marginal PR gains. Please don’t talk over a trans person’s description of their own experience, especially if you’re only citing the words of your friends.

                              – dn3s
                              Feb 1 at 19:01

                            14

                            14

                            14

                            It sounds like if it is optional, then it is just that: optional.

                            If you wrote your PGP as “he/him” maybe that would signal an even stronger belief in binary gender norms.

                            We can respect people who request to be called by a certain PGP. But we do not need to feel obligated to disclose our own view on the subject via means of a nametag.

                            share|improve this answer

                            It sounds like if it is optional, then it is just that: optional.

                            If you wrote your PGP as “he/him” maybe that would signal an even stronger belief in binary gender norms.

                            We can respect people who request to be called by a certain PGP. But we do not need to feel obligated to disclose our own view on the subject via means of a nametag.

                            share|improve this answer

                            share|improve this answer

                            share|improve this answer

                            answered Jan 29 at 23:08

                            VladhagenVladhagen

                            11.3k53966

                            11.3k53966

                            • 36

                              Writing your PGP absolutely does not signal a belief in binary gender.

                              – Dancrumb
                              Jan 30 at 3:27

                            • 1

                              @Dancrumb As a transgender woman, I am of the opinion that the OP is strongly signaling the OP’s preference for cisgendered people by stating the OP’s preferred gender pronoun. The OP is forcing a belief upon me that insinuates that I am somehow lesser because I choose not to be cisgendered.

                              – Vladhagen
                              Jan 30 at 3:49

                            • 22

                              Then why do you want preferred gender pronouns to be displayed on badges at all, if someone else stating their preference is “forcing a belief on you that insinuates you are somehow lesser”? If you want others to call you by a particular pronoun, how is that not forcing a belief on others than insinuates something about them? This answer doesn’t answer the question and with your comment it’s even less clear than it was before that.

                              – Wildcard
                              Jan 30 at 5:06

                            • 6

                              @Vladhagen As someone with a number of trans* and cross-dressing friends, my trans* friends are unanimous that it wasn’t a “choice”, it was who they were. My CD friends are equally clear that it’s something they like but they wouldn’t do it full time or consider transitioning. You’re free to express yourself how you want, of course, but your selection of words there could be misunderstood. And militant anti-binaryism does not fit with you considering it a “choice”.

                              – Graham
                              Jan 30 at 8:34

                            • 1

                              @Graham the whole “choice” narrative is a contentious one among transgender people. The fact is, for some people “it wasn’t a choice” fits very well, and for some people it’s more complicated than that, and enforcing a single narrative onto all trans people ends up erasing a lot of people’s real experiences for the sake of marginal PR gains. Please don’t talk over a trans person’s description of their own experience, especially if you’re only citing the words of your friends.

                              – dn3s
                              Feb 1 at 19:01

                            • 36

                              Writing your PGP absolutely does not signal a belief in binary gender.

                              – Dancrumb
                              Jan 30 at 3:27

                            • 1

                              @Dancrumb As a transgender woman, I am of the opinion that the OP is strongly signaling the OP’s preference for cisgendered people by stating the OP’s preferred gender pronoun. The OP is forcing a belief upon me that insinuates that I am somehow lesser because I choose not to be cisgendered.

                              – Vladhagen
                              Jan 30 at 3:49

                            • 22

                              Then why do you want preferred gender pronouns to be displayed on badges at all, if someone else stating their preference is “forcing a belief on you that insinuates you are somehow lesser”? If you want others to call you by a particular pronoun, how is that not forcing a belief on others than insinuates something about them? This answer doesn’t answer the question and with your comment it’s even less clear than it was before that.

                              – Wildcard
                              Jan 30 at 5:06

                            • 6

                              @Vladhagen As someone with a number of trans* and cross-dressing friends, my trans* friends are unanimous that it wasn’t a “choice”, it was who they were. My CD friends are equally clear that it’s something they like but they wouldn’t do it full time or consider transitioning. You’re free to express yourself how you want, of course, but your selection of words there could be misunderstood. And militant anti-binaryism does not fit with you considering it a “choice”.

                              – Graham
                              Jan 30 at 8:34

                            • 1

                              @Graham the whole “choice” narrative is a contentious one among transgender people. The fact is, for some people “it wasn’t a choice” fits very well, and for some people it’s more complicated than that, and enforcing a single narrative onto all trans people ends up erasing a lot of people’s real experiences for the sake of marginal PR gains. Please don’t talk over a trans person’s description of their own experience, especially if you’re only citing the words of your friends.

                              – dn3s
                              Feb 1 at 19:01

                            36

                            36

                            Writing your PGP absolutely does not signal a belief in binary gender.

                            – Dancrumb
                            Jan 30 at 3:27

                            Writing your PGP absolutely does not signal a belief in binary gender.

                            – Dancrumb
                            Jan 30 at 3:27

                            1

                            1

                            @Dancrumb As a transgender woman, I am of the opinion that the OP is strongly signaling the OP’s preference for cisgendered people by stating the OP’s preferred gender pronoun. The OP is forcing a belief upon me that insinuates that I am somehow lesser because I choose not to be cisgendered.

                            – Vladhagen
                            Jan 30 at 3:49

                            @Dancrumb As a transgender woman, I am of the opinion that the OP is strongly signaling the OP’s preference for cisgendered people by stating the OP’s preferred gender pronoun. The OP is forcing a belief upon me that insinuates that I am somehow lesser because I choose not to be cisgendered.

                            – Vladhagen
                            Jan 30 at 3:49

                            22

                            22

                            Then why do you want preferred gender pronouns to be displayed on badges at all, if someone else stating their preference is “forcing a belief on you that insinuates you are somehow lesser”? If you want others to call you by a particular pronoun, how is that not forcing a belief on others than insinuates something about them? This answer doesn’t answer the question and with your comment it’s even less clear than it was before that.

                            – Wildcard
                            Jan 30 at 5:06

                            Then why do you want preferred gender pronouns to be displayed on badges at all, if someone else stating their preference is “forcing a belief on you that insinuates you are somehow lesser”? If you want others to call you by a particular pronoun, how is that not forcing a belief on others than insinuates something about them? This answer doesn’t answer the question and with your comment it’s even less clear than it was before that.

                            – Wildcard
                            Jan 30 at 5:06

                            6

                            6

                            @Vladhagen As someone with a number of trans* and cross-dressing friends, my trans* friends are unanimous that it wasn’t a “choice”, it was who they were. My CD friends are equally clear that it’s something they like but they wouldn’t do it full time or consider transitioning. You’re free to express yourself how you want, of course, but your selection of words there could be misunderstood. And militant anti-binaryism does not fit with you considering it a “choice”.

                            – Graham
                            Jan 30 at 8:34

                            @Vladhagen As someone with a number of trans* and cross-dressing friends, my trans* friends are unanimous that it wasn’t a “choice”, it was who they were. My CD friends are equally clear that it’s something they like but they wouldn’t do it full time or consider transitioning. You’re free to express yourself how you want, of course, but your selection of words there could be misunderstood. And militant anti-binaryism does not fit with you considering it a “choice”.

                            – Graham
                            Jan 30 at 8:34

                            1

                            1

                            @Graham the whole “choice” narrative is a contentious one among transgender people. The fact is, for some people “it wasn’t a choice” fits very well, and for some people it’s more complicated than that, and enforcing a single narrative onto all trans people ends up erasing a lot of people’s real experiences for the sake of marginal PR gains. Please don’t talk over a trans person’s description of their own experience, especially if you’re only citing the words of your friends.

                            – dn3s
                            Feb 1 at 19:01

                            @Graham the whole “choice” narrative is a contentious one among transgender people. The fact is, for some people “it wasn’t a choice” fits very well, and for some people it’s more complicated than that, and enforcing a single narrative onto all trans people ends up erasing a lot of people’s real experiences for the sake of marginal PR gains. Please don’t talk over a trans person’s description of their own experience, especially if you’re only citing the words of your friends.

                            – dn3s
                            Feb 1 at 19:01

                            12

                            If it were me, I would just put the name down. I have no desire to participate in the pronoun game or over complicate things. A person’s name should be perfectly sufficient for a “name” tag.

                            share|improve this answer

                              12

                              If it were me, I would just put the name down. I have no desire to participate in the pronoun game or over complicate things. A person’s name should be perfectly sufficient for a “name” tag.

                              share|improve this answer

                                12

                                12

                                12

                                If it were me, I would just put the name down. I have no desire to participate in the pronoun game or over complicate things. A person’s name should be perfectly sufficient for a “name” tag.

                                share|improve this answer

                                If it were me, I would just put the name down. I have no desire to participate in the pronoun game or over complicate things. A person’s name should be perfectly sufficient for a “name” tag.

                                share|improve this answer

                                share|improve this answer

                                share|improve this answer

                                answered Jan 30 at 15:05

                                databurndataburn

                                1452

                                1452

                                    8

                                    I’m not sure how so many people have missed a key part of the question: OP does not identify as a he/his. OP states so explicitly:

                                    I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think
                                    of the self in those terms.

                                    Many answers assume that because OP is at home in a male body (OP’s sex), OP must therefore be perfectly fine with the masculine gender (a strange set of ever-evolving societal expectations tied to behavior). But OP has gone so far as to ask this question and explicitly state distaste at writing the “default” pronoun: “I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag.”

                                    OP has made it clear they identify outside of the gender binary. Now comes the tough part, because we don’t have great words for that yet, and of course at this point, we’re just left guessing which of the multitude of non-binary genders OP identifies as (which includes the option of not really identifying with any of them).

                                    I’m in similar shoes myself: at home in a masculine body, entirely not at home with our society’s definition of the masculine gender. I identify as genderqueer, and prefer “they/them”. Since OP doesn’t seem to identify that way, here are some other ideas for options that don’t force much of a gender identity on OP:

                                    • Human
                                    • [Your Name]
                                    • Doctor / Professor / Student
                                    • Mathematician / Engineer / Researcher
                                    • Any / None
                                    • Ally
                                    • Non-binary
                                    • Still figuring it out
                                    • You can call me “he” until our society comes up with better words
                                    • Gender’s complicated
                                    • ze/hir, co/cos, xe/xem/xyr, hy/hym/hys

                                    The key part is that you don’t have to write down anything you don’t identify with. That’s the whole point of that space- to respect people’s many and varied gender identities, and to explicitly state that we’re bad at knowing someone’s gender identity just by looking at their physical characteristics and making assumptions.

                                    If you spend some time looking up agender pronouns or genderqueer pronouns, you’ll see there’s still nothing like a consensus around this, so unfortunately, you’re stuck making the decision yourelf. The closest thing I can think of to dodging the issue is Human, using your name, or Ally. Human is what I try to use for all new people I meet, and it’s worked out well for me for the past few years.

                                    share|improve this answer

                                    • 13

                                      I am skeptical about some of your suggestions (meh, emoji) as they might be perceived as ridiculing that part of the name tag – though that’s not the intention.

                                      – Wrzlprmft
                                      Jan 30 at 20:04

                                    • yeah you really need to be careful. Trolls have managed to popularize “i identify as an attack helicopter” style mockery and it’s possible well-intentioned responses could be misinterpreted as such. It’s unfortunate since the thing we need right now is less policing of how people identify themselves gender-wise, but sadly this defensive reaction has ended up being necessitated by external malicious actors.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:05

                                    • 1

                                      your last paragraph points out something valuable, normalizing explicitly specified pronouns does have a negative side effects for people who don’t want to identify themselves with any gender. in theory the phrase “non-binary” and corresponding they/them pronouns could be a useful statement of pure non-identity perfect for such situations, but people are complicated and turns out the term fits as a positive identity for enough people that it doesn’t carry that connotation. in the end we need something more complex than just “everyone say your pronouns”, as good of a step as it is.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:09

                                    8

                                    I’m not sure how so many people have missed a key part of the question: OP does not identify as a he/his. OP states so explicitly:

                                    I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think
                                    of the self in those terms.

                                    Many answers assume that because OP is at home in a male body (OP’s sex), OP must therefore be perfectly fine with the masculine gender (a strange set of ever-evolving societal expectations tied to behavior). But OP has gone so far as to ask this question and explicitly state distaste at writing the “default” pronoun: “I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag.”

                                    OP has made it clear they identify outside of the gender binary. Now comes the tough part, because we don’t have great words for that yet, and of course at this point, we’re just left guessing which of the multitude of non-binary genders OP identifies as (which includes the option of not really identifying with any of them).

                                    I’m in similar shoes myself: at home in a masculine body, entirely not at home with our society’s definition of the masculine gender. I identify as genderqueer, and prefer “they/them”. Since OP doesn’t seem to identify that way, here are some other ideas for options that don’t force much of a gender identity on OP:

                                    • Human
                                    • [Your Name]
                                    • Doctor / Professor / Student
                                    • Mathematician / Engineer / Researcher
                                    • Any / None
                                    • Ally
                                    • Non-binary
                                    • Still figuring it out
                                    • You can call me “he” until our society comes up with better words
                                    • Gender’s complicated
                                    • ze/hir, co/cos, xe/xem/xyr, hy/hym/hys

                                    The key part is that you don’t have to write down anything you don’t identify with. That’s the whole point of that space- to respect people’s many and varied gender identities, and to explicitly state that we’re bad at knowing someone’s gender identity just by looking at their physical characteristics and making assumptions.

                                    If you spend some time looking up agender pronouns or genderqueer pronouns, you’ll see there’s still nothing like a consensus around this, so unfortunately, you’re stuck making the decision yourelf. The closest thing I can think of to dodging the issue is Human, using your name, or Ally. Human is what I try to use for all new people I meet, and it’s worked out well for me for the past few years.

                                    share|improve this answer

                                    • 13

                                      I am skeptical about some of your suggestions (meh, emoji) as they might be perceived as ridiculing that part of the name tag – though that’s not the intention.

                                      – Wrzlprmft
                                      Jan 30 at 20:04

                                    • yeah you really need to be careful. Trolls have managed to popularize “i identify as an attack helicopter” style mockery and it’s possible well-intentioned responses could be misinterpreted as such. It’s unfortunate since the thing we need right now is less policing of how people identify themselves gender-wise, but sadly this defensive reaction has ended up being necessitated by external malicious actors.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:05

                                    • 1

                                      your last paragraph points out something valuable, normalizing explicitly specified pronouns does have a negative side effects for people who don’t want to identify themselves with any gender. in theory the phrase “non-binary” and corresponding they/them pronouns could be a useful statement of pure non-identity perfect for such situations, but people are complicated and turns out the term fits as a positive identity for enough people that it doesn’t carry that connotation. in the end we need something more complex than just “everyone say your pronouns”, as good of a step as it is.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:09

                                    8

                                    8

                                    8

                                    I’m not sure how so many people have missed a key part of the question: OP does not identify as a he/his. OP states so explicitly:

                                    I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think
                                    of the self in those terms.

                                    Many answers assume that because OP is at home in a male body (OP’s sex), OP must therefore be perfectly fine with the masculine gender (a strange set of ever-evolving societal expectations tied to behavior). But OP has gone so far as to ask this question and explicitly state distaste at writing the “default” pronoun: “I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag.”

                                    OP has made it clear they identify outside of the gender binary. Now comes the tough part, because we don’t have great words for that yet, and of course at this point, we’re just left guessing which of the multitude of non-binary genders OP identifies as (which includes the option of not really identifying with any of them).

                                    I’m in similar shoes myself: at home in a masculine body, entirely not at home with our society’s definition of the masculine gender. I identify as genderqueer, and prefer “they/them”. Since OP doesn’t seem to identify that way, here are some other ideas for options that don’t force much of a gender identity on OP:

                                    • Human
                                    • [Your Name]
                                    • Doctor / Professor / Student
                                    • Mathematician / Engineer / Researcher
                                    • Any / None
                                    • Ally
                                    • Non-binary
                                    • Still figuring it out
                                    • You can call me “he” until our society comes up with better words
                                    • Gender’s complicated
                                    • ze/hir, co/cos, xe/xem/xyr, hy/hym/hys

                                    The key part is that you don’t have to write down anything you don’t identify with. That’s the whole point of that space- to respect people’s many and varied gender identities, and to explicitly state that we’re bad at knowing someone’s gender identity just by looking at their physical characteristics and making assumptions.

                                    If you spend some time looking up agender pronouns or genderqueer pronouns, you’ll see there’s still nothing like a consensus around this, so unfortunately, you’re stuck making the decision yourelf. The closest thing I can think of to dodging the issue is Human, using your name, or Ally. Human is what I try to use for all new people I meet, and it’s worked out well for me for the past few years.

                                    share|improve this answer

                                    I’m not sure how so many people have missed a key part of the question: OP does not identify as a he/his. OP states so explicitly:

                                    I simply don’t have a very strong sense of identity, and don’t think
                                    of the self in those terms.

                                    Many answers assume that because OP is at home in a male body (OP’s sex), OP must therefore be perfectly fine with the masculine gender (a strange set of ever-evolving societal expectations tied to behavior). But OP has gone so far as to ask this question and explicitly state distaste at writing the “default” pronoun: “I don’t have any desire to include my PGP on the name tag.”

                                    OP has made it clear they identify outside of the gender binary. Now comes the tough part, because we don’t have great words for that yet, and of course at this point, we’re just left guessing which of the multitude of non-binary genders OP identifies as (which includes the option of not really identifying with any of them).

                                    I’m in similar shoes myself: at home in a masculine body, entirely not at home with our society’s definition of the masculine gender. I identify as genderqueer, and prefer “they/them”. Since OP doesn’t seem to identify that way, here are some other ideas for options that don’t force much of a gender identity on OP:

                                    • Human
                                    • [Your Name]
                                    • Doctor / Professor / Student
                                    • Mathematician / Engineer / Researcher
                                    • Any / None
                                    • Ally
                                    • Non-binary
                                    • Still figuring it out
                                    • You can call me “he” until our society comes up with better words
                                    • Gender’s complicated
                                    • ze/hir, co/cos, xe/xem/xyr, hy/hym/hys

                                    The key part is that you don’t have to write down anything you don’t identify with. That’s the whole point of that space- to respect people’s many and varied gender identities, and to explicitly state that we’re bad at knowing someone’s gender identity just by looking at their physical characteristics and making assumptions.

                                    If you spend some time looking up agender pronouns or genderqueer pronouns, you’ll see there’s still nothing like a consensus around this, so unfortunately, you’re stuck making the decision yourelf. The closest thing I can think of to dodging the issue is Human, using your name, or Ally. Human is what I try to use for all new people I meet, and it’s worked out well for me for the past few years.

                                    share|improve this answer

                                    share|improve this answer

                                    share|improve this answer

                                    edited Feb 3 at 17:08

                                    answered Jan 30 at 2:41

                                    ClimbsRocksClimbsRocks

                                    24216

                                    24216

                                    • 13

                                      I am skeptical about some of your suggestions (meh, emoji) as they might be perceived as ridiculing that part of the name tag – though that’s not the intention.

                                      – Wrzlprmft
                                      Jan 30 at 20:04

                                    • yeah you really need to be careful. Trolls have managed to popularize “i identify as an attack helicopter” style mockery and it’s possible well-intentioned responses could be misinterpreted as such. It’s unfortunate since the thing we need right now is less policing of how people identify themselves gender-wise, but sadly this defensive reaction has ended up being necessitated by external malicious actors.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:05

                                    • 1

                                      your last paragraph points out something valuable, normalizing explicitly specified pronouns does have a negative side effects for people who don’t want to identify themselves with any gender. in theory the phrase “non-binary” and corresponding they/them pronouns could be a useful statement of pure non-identity perfect for such situations, but people are complicated and turns out the term fits as a positive identity for enough people that it doesn’t carry that connotation. in the end we need something more complex than just “everyone say your pronouns”, as good of a step as it is.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:09

                                    • 13

                                      I am skeptical about some of your suggestions (meh, emoji) as they might be perceived as ridiculing that part of the name tag – though that’s not the intention.

                                      – Wrzlprmft
                                      Jan 30 at 20:04

                                    • yeah you really need to be careful. Trolls have managed to popularize “i identify as an attack helicopter” style mockery and it’s possible well-intentioned responses could be misinterpreted as such. It’s unfortunate since the thing we need right now is less policing of how people identify themselves gender-wise, but sadly this defensive reaction has ended up being necessitated by external malicious actors.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:05

                                    • 1

                                      your last paragraph points out something valuable, normalizing explicitly specified pronouns does have a negative side effects for people who don’t want to identify themselves with any gender. in theory the phrase “non-binary” and corresponding they/them pronouns could be a useful statement of pure non-identity perfect for such situations, but people are complicated and turns out the term fits as a positive identity for enough people that it doesn’t carry that connotation. in the end we need something more complex than just “everyone say your pronouns”, as good of a step as it is.

                                      – dn3s
                                      Feb 1 at 19:09

                                    13

                                    13

                                    I am skeptical about some of your suggestions (meh, emoji) as they might be perceived as ridiculing that part of the name tag – though that’s not the intention.

                                    – Wrzlprmft
                                    Jan 30 at 20:04

                                    I am skeptical about some of your suggestions (meh, emoji) as they might be perceived as ridiculing that part of the name tag – though that’s not the intention.

                                    – Wrzlprmft
                                    Jan 30 at 20:04

                                    yeah you really need to be careful. Trolls have managed to popularize “i identify as an attack helicopter” style mockery and it’s possible well-intentioned responses could be misinterpreted as such. It’s unfortunate since the thing we need right now is less policing of how people identify themselves gender-wise, but sadly this defensive reaction has ended up being necessitated by external malicious actors.

                                    – dn3s
                                    Feb 1 at 19:05

                                    yeah you really need to be careful. Trolls have managed to popularize “i identify as an attack helicopter” style mockery and it’s possible well-intentioned responses could be misinterpreted as such. It’s unfortunate since the thing we need right now is less policing of how people identify themselves gender-wise, but sadly this defensive reaction has ended up being necessitated by external malicious actors.

                                    – dn3s
                                    Feb 1 at 19:05

                                    1

                                    1

                                    your last paragraph points out something valuable, normalizing explicitly specified pronouns does have a negative side effects for people who don’t want to identify themselves with any gender. in theory the phrase “non-binary” and corresponding they/them pronouns could be a useful statement of pure non-identity perfect for such situations, but people are complicated and turns out the term fits as a positive identity for enough people that it doesn’t carry that connotation. in the end we need something more complex than just “everyone say your pronouns”, as good of a step as it is.

                                    – dn3s
                                    Feb 1 at 19:09

                                    your last paragraph points out something valuable, normalizing explicitly specified pronouns does have a negative side effects for people who don’t want to identify themselves with any gender. in theory the phrase “non-binary” and corresponding they/them pronouns could be a useful statement of pure non-identity perfect for such situations, but people are complicated and turns out the term fits as a positive identity for enough people that it doesn’t carry that connotation. in the end we need something more complex than just “everyone say your pronouns”, as good of a step as it is.

                                    – dn3s
                                    Feb 1 at 19:09

                                    6

                                    I highly doubt that anyone will take offense to you not filling out the PGP slot. If I were you and anyone came up to me and started to accuse me of being disrespectful, I’d assert that I intend no such disrespect and write them off as unreasonable (mentally, of course – heaven forbid I end up on Youtube). The conversation shouldn’t start up at all if you never bring it up; you don’t have to explain why you didn’t fill it out, and I recommend that you don’t, as no one can object if they don’t know why you didn’t do it.

                                    Personally, if everyone else was filling it out, I’d think twice about leaving it blank, as that might be perceived as inflammatory.

                                    The only thing you have to worry about would be other’s potential reactions to it; morally and legally, you are in the clear. Be confident; this is only as much of an issue as you and others let it become.

                                    share|improve this answer

                                      6

                                      I highly doubt that anyone will take offense to you not filling out the PGP slot. If I were you and anyone came up to me and started to accuse me of being disrespectful, I’d assert that I intend no such disrespect and write them off as unreasonable (mentally, of course – heaven forbid I end up on Youtube). The conversation shouldn’t start up at all if you never bring it up; you don’t have to explain why you didn’t fill it out, and I recommend that you don’t, as no one can object if they don’t know why you didn’t do it.

                                      Personally, if everyone else was filling it out, I’d think twice about leaving it blank, as that might be perceived as inflammatory.

                                      The only thing you have to worry about would be other’s potential reactions to it; morally and legally, you are in the clear. Be confident; this is only as much of an issue as you and others let it become.

                                      share|improve this answer

                                        6

                                        6

                                        6

                                        I highly doubt that anyone will take offense to you not filling out the PGP slot. If I were you and anyone came up to me and started to accuse me of being disrespectful, I’d assert that I intend no such disrespect and write them off as unreasonable (mentally, of course – heaven forbid I end up on Youtube). The conversation shouldn’t start up at all if you never bring it up; you don’t have to explain why you didn’t fill it out, and I recommend that you don’t, as no one can object if they don’t know why you didn’t do it.

                                        Personally, if everyone else was filling it out, I’d think twice about leaving it blank, as that might be perceived as inflammatory.

                                        The only thing you have to worry about would be other’s potential reactions to it; morally and legally, you are in the clear. Be confident; this is only as much of an issue as you and others let it become.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        I highly doubt that anyone will take offense to you not filling out the PGP slot. If I were you and anyone came up to me and started to accuse me of being disrespectful, I’d assert that I intend no such disrespect and write them off as unreasonable (mentally, of course – heaven forbid I end up on Youtube). The conversation shouldn’t start up at all if you never bring it up; you don’t have to explain why you didn’t fill it out, and I recommend that you don’t, as no one can object if they don’t know why you didn’t do it.

                                        Personally, if everyone else was filling it out, I’d think twice about leaving it blank, as that might be perceived as inflammatory.

                                        The only thing you have to worry about would be other’s potential reactions to it; morally and legally, you are in the clear. Be confident; this is only as much of an issue as you and others let it become.

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        share|improve this answer

                                        answered Jan 30 at 5:15

                                        user45266user45266

                                        2614

                                        2614

                                            5

                                            For the particular situation you describe, with what I gather your motives are: I would put down a preference for a masculine pronoun.

                                            Why?:

                                            Firstly, it may do some good. You give a good summary of why asking this question might help (I won’t repeat them, but I agree) and it’s not going to work if everyone abstains.

                                            Secondly, as other have pointed out, it does no harm. It’s exceptionally unlikely that anyone would read putting down a preference as being an advocate of any stance on gender. It’s not like you went out of your way to insist on a pronoun. Maybe this doesn’t signal the interest you clearly have in the issue (and make others stop think about it). However it doesn’t give an implication to the contrary and your not going to find a response that does in a drop-down list.

                                            Finally, refusing to answer may be interpreted in a number of ways that you have no real control over. I think the question to ask is: “do the likely interpretations line up with the views I want to portray?”.
                                            This bit is very subjective, but I would say no.
                                            I would have thought it more likely that someone would perceive not answering as: “I am not interested in this. (I’ll get ‘he’ anyway)” than “I care, and have thought about this extensively, but I was not comfortable with any of the responses”. Worse, within the “I care” group the “why” is equally open to interpretation. I imagine there are as many who are mocking or subverting the intention of the question as those trying to improve it.
                                            It might be worth noting here that in polarised issues, people tend to see threats more quickly than allies. I’d be reluctant to assume people will give you the benefit of the doubt in interpreting your stance.

                                            So, is it rude not to answer: No, there are a host of reasons not to that are not rude at all and I like to think most would see it this way. But it may well be seen as rude by some, not everyone will have thought about it in the same way.

                                            Is it worth it? This has been answered well elsewhere but: Up to you, there are no wrong answers.

                                            Controversy time:

                                            If it’s free text (I’ll go on a limb and say it’s not) what to put?
                                            I would still put he/him. There may will be the magic combination of characters instead that has the desired affect but I doubt it. If this question turns into a complex game with rules and pitfalls and “damn, that’s a better answer”, people will stop playing. Maybe one day … but one step at a time.

                                            share|improve this answer

                                              5

                                              For the particular situation you describe, with what I gather your motives are: I would put down a preference for a masculine pronoun.

                                              Why?:

                                              Firstly, it may do some good. You give a good summary of why asking this question might help (I won’t repeat them, but I agree) and it’s not going to work if everyone abstains.

                                              Secondly, as other have pointed out, it does no harm. It’s exceptionally unlikely that anyone would read putting down a preference as being an advocate of any stance on gender. It’s not like you went out of your way to insist on a pronoun. Maybe this doesn’t signal the interest you clearly have in the issue (and make others stop think about it). However it doesn’t give an implication to the contrary and your not going to find a response that does in a drop-down list.

                                              Finally, refusing to answer may be interpreted in a number of ways that you have no real control over. I think the question to ask is: “do the likely interpretations line up with the views I want to portray?”.
                                              This bit is very subjective, but I would say no.
                                              I would have thought it more likely that someone would perceive not answering as: “I am not interested in this. (I’ll get ‘he’ anyway)” than “I care, and have thought about this extensively, but I was not comfortable with any of the responses”. Worse, within the “I care” group the “why” is equally open to interpretation. I imagine there are as many who are mocking or subverting the intention of the question as those trying to improve it.
                                              It might be worth noting here that in polarised issues, people tend to see threats more quickly than allies. I’d be reluctant to assume people will give you the benefit of the doubt in interpreting your stance.

                                              So, is it rude not to answer: No, there are a host of reasons not to that are not rude at all and I like to think most would see it this way. But it may well be seen as rude by some, not everyone will have thought about it in the same way.

                                              Is it worth it? This has been answered well elsewhere but: Up to you, there are no wrong answers.

                                              Controversy time:

                                              If it’s free text (I’ll go on a limb and say it’s not) what to put?
                                              I would still put he/him. There may will be the magic combination of characters instead that has the desired affect but I doubt it. If this question turns into a complex game with rules and pitfalls and “damn, that’s a better answer”, people will stop playing. Maybe one day … but one step at a time.

                                              share|improve this answer

                                                5

                                                5

                                                5

                                                For the particular situation you describe, with what I gather your motives are: I would put down a preference for a masculine pronoun.

                                                Why?:

                                                Firstly, it may do some good. You give a good summary of why asking this question might help (I won’t repeat them, but I agree) and it’s not going to work if everyone abstains.

                                                Secondly, as other have pointed out, it does no harm. It’s exceptionally unlikely that anyone would read putting down a preference as being an advocate of any stance on gender. It’s not like you went out of your way to insist on a pronoun. Maybe this doesn’t signal the interest you clearly have in the issue (and make others stop think about it). However it doesn’t give an implication to the contrary and your not going to find a response that does in a drop-down list.

                                                Finally, refusing to answer may be interpreted in a number of ways that you have no real control over. I think the question to ask is: “do the likely interpretations line up with the views I want to portray?”.
                                                This bit is very subjective, but I would say no.
                                                I would have thought it more likely that someone would perceive not answering as: “I am not interested in this. (I’ll get ‘he’ anyway)” than “I care, and have thought about this extensively, but I was not comfortable with any of the responses”. Worse, within the “I care” group the “why” is equally open to interpretation. I imagine there are as many who are mocking or subverting the intention of the question as those trying to improve it.
                                                It might be worth noting here that in polarised issues, people tend to see threats more quickly than allies. I’d be reluctant to assume people will give you the benefit of the doubt in interpreting your stance.

                                                So, is it rude not to answer: No, there are a host of reasons not to that are not rude at all and I like to think most would see it this way. But it may well be seen as rude by some, not everyone will have thought about it in the same way.

                                                Is it worth it? This has been answered well elsewhere but: Up to you, there are no wrong answers.

                                                Controversy time:

                                                If it’s free text (I’ll go on a limb and say it’s not) what to put?
                                                I would still put he/him. There may will be the magic combination of characters instead that has the desired affect but I doubt it. If this question turns into a complex game with rules and pitfalls and “damn, that’s a better answer”, people will stop playing. Maybe one day … but one step at a time.

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                For the particular situation you describe, with what I gather your motives are: I would put down a preference for a masculine pronoun.

                                                Why?:

                                                Firstly, it may do some good. You give a good summary of why asking this question might help (I won’t repeat them, but I agree) and it’s not going to work if everyone abstains.

                                                Secondly, as other have pointed out, it does no harm. It’s exceptionally unlikely that anyone would read putting down a preference as being an advocate of any stance on gender. It’s not like you went out of your way to insist on a pronoun. Maybe this doesn’t signal the interest you clearly have in the issue (and make others stop think about it). However it doesn’t give an implication to the contrary and your not going to find a response that does in a drop-down list.

                                                Finally, refusing to answer may be interpreted in a number of ways that you have no real control over. I think the question to ask is: “do the likely interpretations line up with the views I want to portray?”.
                                                This bit is very subjective, but I would say no.
                                                I would have thought it more likely that someone would perceive not answering as: “I am not interested in this. (I’ll get ‘he’ anyway)” than “I care, and have thought about this extensively, but I was not comfortable with any of the responses”. Worse, within the “I care” group the “why” is equally open to interpretation. I imagine there are as many who are mocking or subverting the intention of the question as those trying to improve it.
                                                It might be worth noting here that in polarised issues, people tend to see threats more quickly than allies. I’d be reluctant to assume people will give you the benefit of the doubt in interpreting your stance.

                                                So, is it rude not to answer: No, there are a host of reasons not to that are not rude at all and I like to think most would see it this way. But it may well be seen as rude by some, not everyone will have thought about it in the same way.

                                                Is it worth it? This has been answered well elsewhere but: Up to you, there are no wrong answers.

                                                Controversy time:

                                                If it’s free text (I’ll go on a limb and say it’s not) what to put?
                                                I would still put he/him. There may will be the magic combination of characters instead that has the desired affect but I doubt it. If this question turns into a complex game with rules and pitfalls and “damn, that’s a better answer”, people will stop playing. Maybe one day … but one step at a time.

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                share|improve this answer

                                                answered Jan 30 at 14:36

                                                drjpizzledrjpizzle

                                                4325

                                                4325

                                                    4

                                                    My suggestion is that, if you really have no preference, you should enter

                                                    (no preference)

                                                    on the registration form and leave it to the organizers to figure out how to process this. This may also help clue the organizers in that the way they are doing this may not be a good fit for everyone.

                                                    However, if there are pronouns you prefer to she, either pick one, or list your top choices, e.g.

                                                    he/they/zey

                                                    As some people have pointed out, just leaving that question blank could be construed as not being supportive of the organizers efforts. If you actual are opposed to the way this is done, and have a better suggestion, you could also communicate this to the organizers.

                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                    • 3

                                                      My guess is that this would make “(no preference)” appear on the conference badge.

                                                      – Alexey B.
                                                      Jan 30 at 16:39

                                                    • 3

                                                      @AlexeyB. I wasn’t sure if there would be space for that on the name tag, but if so, and if that’s what the OP really prefers, isn’t that a good outcome?

                                                      – Kimball
                                                      Jan 30 at 17:40

                                                    • 4

                                                      It’s almost like OP has a preference after all. thinking emoji

                                                      – Adonalsium
                                                      Jan 30 at 18:22

                                                    • 2

                                                      I’ve seen “Any/All” used as a way to express “(No Preference)” online before, which I think is a good alternate way to phrase it, especially if it’s obvious that it’s referring to PGPs.

                                                      – Tylerelyt
                                                      Jan 30 at 22:08

                                                    4

                                                    My suggestion is that, if you really have no preference, you should enter

                                                    (no preference)

                                                    on the registration form and leave it to the organizers to figure out how to process this. This may also help clue the organizers in that the way they are doing this may not be a good fit for everyone.

                                                    However, if there are pronouns you prefer to she, either pick one, or list your top choices, e.g.

                                                    he/they/zey

                                                    As some people have pointed out, just leaving that question blank could be construed as not being supportive of the organizers efforts. If you actual are opposed to the way this is done, and have a better suggestion, you could also communicate this to the organizers.

                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                    • 3

                                                      My guess is that this would make “(no preference)” appear on the conference badge.

                                                      – Alexey B.
                                                      Jan 30 at 16:39

                                                    • 3

                                                      @AlexeyB. I wasn’t sure if there would be space for that on the name tag, but if so, and if that’s what the OP really prefers, isn’t that a good outcome?

                                                      – Kimball
                                                      Jan 30 at 17:40

                                                    • 4

                                                      It’s almost like OP has a preference after all. thinking emoji

                                                      – Adonalsium
                                                      Jan 30 at 18:22

                                                    • 2

                                                      I’ve seen “Any/All” used as a way to express “(No Preference)” online before, which I think is a good alternate way to phrase it, especially if it’s obvious that it’s referring to PGPs.

                                                      – Tylerelyt
                                                      Jan 30 at 22:08

                                                    4

                                                    4

                                                    4

                                                    My suggestion is that, if you really have no preference, you should enter

                                                    (no preference)

                                                    on the registration form and leave it to the organizers to figure out how to process this. This may also help clue the organizers in that the way they are doing this may not be a good fit for everyone.

                                                    However, if there are pronouns you prefer to she, either pick one, or list your top choices, e.g.

                                                    he/they/zey

                                                    As some people have pointed out, just leaving that question blank could be construed as not being supportive of the organizers efforts. If you actual are opposed to the way this is done, and have a better suggestion, you could also communicate this to the organizers.

                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                    My suggestion is that, if you really have no preference, you should enter

                                                    (no preference)

                                                    on the registration form and leave it to the organizers to figure out how to process this. This may also help clue the organizers in that the way they are doing this may not be a good fit for everyone.

                                                    However, if there are pronouns you prefer to she, either pick one, or list your top choices, e.g.

                                                    he/they/zey

                                                    As some people have pointed out, just leaving that question blank could be construed as not being supportive of the organizers efforts. If you actual are opposed to the way this is done, and have a better suggestion, you could also communicate this to the organizers.

                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                    answered Jan 30 at 15:18

                                                    KimballKimball

                                                    24.1k639116

                                                    24.1k639116

                                                    • 3

                                                      My guess is that this would make “(no preference)” appear on the conference badge.

                                                      – Alexey B.
                                                      Jan 30 at 16:39

                                                    • 3

                                                      @AlexeyB. I wasn’t sure if there would be space for that on the name tag, but if so, and if that’s what the OP really prefers, isn’t that a good outcome?

                                                      – Kimball
                                                      Jan 30 at 17:40

                                                    • 4

                                                      It’s almost like OP has a preference after all. thinking emoji

                                                      – Adonalsium
                                                      Jan 30 at 18:22

                                                    • 2

                                                      I’ve seen “Any/All” used as a way to express “(No Preference)” online before, which I think is a good alternate way to phrase it, especially if it’s obvious that it’s referring to PGPs.

                                                      – Tylerelyt
                                                      Jan 30 at 22:08

                                                    • 3

                                                      My guess is that this would make “(no preference)” appear on the conference badge.

                                                      – Alexey B.
                                                      Jan 30 at 16:39

                                                    • 3

                                                      @AlexeyB. I wasn’t sure if there would be space for that on the name tag, but if so, and if that’s what the OP really prefers, isn’t that a good outcome?

                                                      – Kimball
                                                      Jan 30 at 17:40

                                                    • 4

                                                      It’s almost like OP has a preference after all. thinking emoji

                                                      – Adonalsium
                                                      Jan 30 at 18:22

                                                    • 2

                                                      I’ve seen “Any/All” used as a way to express “(No Preference)” online before, which I think is a good alternate way to phrase it, especially if it’s obvious that it’s referring to PGPs.

                                                      – Tylerelyt
                                                      Jan 30 at 22:08

                                                    3

                                                    3

                                                    My guess is that this would make “(no preference)” appear on the conference badge.

                                                    – Alexey B.
                                                    Jan 30 at 16:39

                                                    My guess is that this would make “(no preference)” appear on the conference badge.

                                                    – Alexey B.
                                                    Jan 30 at 16:39

                                                    3

                                                    3

                                                    @AlexeyB. I wasn’t sure if there would be space for that on the name tag, but if so, and if that’s what the OP really prefers, isn’t that a good outcome?

                                                    – Kimball
                                                    Jan 30 at 17:40

                                                    @AlexeyB. I wasn’t sure if there would be space for that on the name tag, but if so, and if that’s what the OP really prefers, isn’t that a good outcome?

                                                    – Kimball
                                                    Jan 30 at 17:40

                                                    4

                                                    4

                                                    It’s almost like OP has a preference after all. thinking emoji

                                                    – Adonalsium
                                                    Jan 30 at 18:22

                                                    It’s almost like OP has a preference after all. thinking emoji

                                                    – Adonalsium
                                                    Jan 30 at 18:22

                                                    2

                                                    2

                                                    I’ve seen “Any/All” used as a way to express “(No Preference)” online before, which I think is a good alternate way to phrase it, especially if it’s obvious that it’s referring to PGPs.

                                                    – Tylerelyt
                                                    Jan 30 at 22:08

                                                    I’ve seen “Any/All” used as a way to express “(No Preference)” online before, which I think is a good alternate way to phrase it, especially if it’s obvious that it’s referring to PGPs.

                                                    – Tylerelyt
                                                    Jan 30 at 22:08

                                                    protected by ff524 Jan 30 at 17:16

                                                    Thank you for your interest in this question.
                                                    Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

                                                    Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

                                                    How to write a joint book with each writer writing a character?

                                                    The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                                                    2

                                                    I have been looking through various books with a dungeon being the main character.
                                                    Regardless of the book, however, the character had to gain a physical body in order to forward the plot, which I didn’t want to write.

                                                    As a solution, I got together with a friend and we decided that I would write the dungeon part while my friend wrote the part of a character who advanced the plot out of the dungeon.

                                                    How can we organize the book while both of us write different characters?

                                                    share|improve this question

                                                      2

                                                      I have been looking through various books with a dungeon being the main character.
                                                      Regardless of the book, however, the character had to gain a physical body in order to forward the plot, which I didn’t want to write.

                                                      As a solution, I got together with a friend and we decided that I would write the dungeon part while my friend wrote the part of a character who advanced the plot out of the dungeon.

                                                      How can we organize the book while both of us write different characters?

                                                      share|improve this question

                                                        2

                                                        2

                                                        2

                                                        I have been looking through various books with a dungeon being the main character.
                                                        Regardless of the book, however, the character had to gain a physical body in order to forward the plot, which I didn’t want to write.

                                                        As a solution, I got together with a friend and we decided that I would write the dungeon part while my friend wrote the part of a character who advanced the plot out of the dungeon.

                                                        How can we organize the book while both of us write different characters?

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        I have been looking through various books with a dungeon being the main character.
                                                        Regardless of the book, however, the character had to gain a physical body in order to forward the plot, which I didn’t want to write.

                                                        As a solution, I got together with a friend and we decided that I would write the dungeon part while my friend wrote the part of a character who advanced the plot out of the dungeon.

                                                        How can we organize the book while both of us write different characters?

                                                        fiction novel organization collaboration

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        share|improve this question

                                                        edited Jan 15 at 16:01

                                                        Cyn

                                                        8,32811445

                                                        8,32811445

                                                        asked Jan 15 at 10:55

                                                        Maiko ChikyuMaiko Chikyu

                                                        491216

                                                        491216

                                                            2 Answers
                                                            2

                                                            active

                                                            oldest

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                                                            5

                                                            I am currently publishing a comic series with a co-writer, and have worked with other writers as well.

                                                            We always start with a general outline, so that both of us are in agreement regarding what direction the plot is going to take and how the characters are going to advance it.

                                                            Typically we each follow our own self-created characters and their story arcs, although our characters also interact so we end up writing each others’. We also make suggestions for ideas involving each others’ characters as well.

                                                            Then, each of us write our designated chapters, after which we submit it to the other author to approve. Sometimes this involves some back and forth until we reach agreement.

                                                            It’s easier in my case as I’m the primary writer so have ultimate say, however if my partner felt passionate about a particular issue I would be inclined to follow her lead. Co-writing doesn’t work without compromises!

                                                            share|improve this answer

                                                              1

                                                              The simple approach.

                                                              All you need to agree is what is the status quo at the end of the first part, which, incidentally, will be the status quo at the beginning of the second part.

                                                              It is like a journey in which you take a coincidence somewhere. You need to be at a certain place at a certain time in order to continue. Similarly, define where characters are, what they are doing, what they know. The first part of the book should describe how they got there. The second part of the book should deal with where they go from there. How you organize the text within each section is up to you.

                                                              A less simple approach.

                                                              Each of you can write their section as they please, you could make whatever assumptions you like about the plot prior to your section of the story. Your friend can similarly decide to take whatever course they wish for their part of the story.

                                                              Once you are done, you can sit together and write a few more chapters to bridge between the end point of one section and the beginning of the next. This is actually quite fun and it may require some good creative thinking.

                                                              An even less simple approach.

                                                              Both of you write a very skinny draft, just outlining the main story. Even a summary of different scenes should suffice. You should mark details that you are aware of and that occur during each scene in this draft. These details may need to be known across the two sections of the book. After this, you write a second, longer draft of the two sections. Again, make sure you exchange every detail of lore, or character characterization that you have added to make your section consistent: the other writer may need to reference them in their section.

                                                              A third draft is probably going to be needed, but beyond that, it is just revisions.

                                                              share|improve this answer

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                                                                2 Answers
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                                                                oldest

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                                                                active

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                                                                active

                                                                oldest

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                                                                5

                                                                I am currently publishing a comic series with a co-writer, and have worked with other writers as well.

                                                                We always start with a general outline, so that both of us are in agreement regarding what direction the plot is going to take and how the characters are going to advance it.

                                                                Typically we each follow our own self-created characters and their story arcs, although our characters also interact so we end up writing each others’. We also make suggestions for ideas involving each others’ characters as well.

                                                                Then, each of us write our designated chapters, after which we submit it to the other author to approve. Sometimes this involves some back and forth until we reach agreement.

                                                                It’s easier in my case as I’m the primary writer so have ultimate say, however if my partner felt passionate about a particular issue I would be inclined to follow her lead. Co-writing doesn’t work without compromises!

                                                                share|improve this answer

                                                                  5

                                                                  I am currently publishing a comic series with a co-writer, and have worked with other writers as well.

                                                                  We always start with a general outline, so that both of us are in agreement regarding what direction the plot is going to take and how the characters are going to advance it.

                                                                  Typically we each follow our own self-created characters and their story arcs, although our characters also interact so we end up writing each others’. We also make suggestions for ideas involving each others’ characters as well.

                                                                  Then, each of us write our designated chapters, after which we submit it to the other author to approve. Sometimes this involves some back and forth until we reach agreement.

                                                                  It’s easier in my case as I’m the primary writer so have ultimate say, however if my partner felt passionate about a particular issue I would be inclined to follow her lead. Co-writing doesn’t work without compromises!

                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                    5

                                                                    5

                                                                    5

                                                                    I am currently publishing a comic series with a co-writer, and have worked with other writers as well.

                                                                    We always start with a general outline, so that both of us are in agreement regarding what direction the plot is going to take and how the characters are going to advance it.

                                                                    Typically we each follow our own self-created characters and their story arcs, although our characters also interact so we end up writing each others’. We also make suggestions for ideas involving each others’ characters as well.

                                                                    Then, each of us write our designated chapters, after which we submit it to the other author to approve. Sometimes this involves some back and forth until we reach agreement.

                                                                    It’s easier in my case as I’m the primary writer so have ultimate say, however if my partner felt passionate about a particular issue I would be inclined to follow her lead. Co-writing doesn’t work without compromises!

                                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                                    I am currently publishing a comic series with a co-writer, and have worked with other writers as well.

                                                                    We always start with a general outline, so that both of us are in agreement regarding what direction the plot is going to take and how the characters are going to advance it.

                                                                    Typically we each follow our own self-created characters and their story arcs, although our characters also interact so we end up writing each others’. We also make suggestions for ideas involving each others’ characters as well.

                                                                    Then, each of us write our designated chapters, after which we submit it to the other author to approve. Sometimes this involves some back and forth until we reach agreement.

                                                                    It’s easier in my case as I’m the primary writer so have ultimate say, however if my partner felt passionate about a particular issue I would be inclined to follow her lead. Co-writing doesn’t work without compromises!

                                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                                    answered Jan 15 at 16:13

                                                                    El CadejoEl Cadejo

                                                                    2712

                                                                    2712

                                                                        1

                                                                        The simple approach.

                                                                        All you need to agree is what is the status quo at the end of the first part, which, incidentally, will be the status quo at the beginning of the second part.

                                                                        It is like a journey in which you take a coincidence somewhere. You need to be at a certain place at a certain time in order to continue. Similarly, define where characters are, what they are doing, what they know. The first part of the book should describe how they got there. The second part of the book should deal with where they go from there. How you organize the text within each section is up to you.

                                                                        A less simple approach.

                                                                        Each of you can write their section as they please, you could make whatever assumptions you like about the plot prior to your section of the story. Your friend can similarly decide to take whatever course they wish for their part of the story.

                                                                        Once you are done, you can sit together and write a few more chapters to bridge between the end point of one section and the beginning of the next. This is actually quite fun and it may require some good creative thinking.

                                                                        An even less simple approach.

                                                                        Both of you write a very skinny draft, just outlining the main story. Even a summary of different scenes should suffice. You should mark details that you are aware of and that occur during each scene in this draft. These details may need to be known across the two sections of the book. After this, you write a second, longer draft of the two sections. Again, make sure you exchange every detail of lore, or character characterization that you have added to make your section consistent: the other writer may need to reference them in their section.

                                                                        A third draft is probably going to be needed, but beyond that, it is just revisions.

                                                                        share|improve this answer

                                                                          1

                                                                          The simple approach.

                                                                          All you need to agree is what is the status quo at the end of the first part, which, incidentally, will be the status quo at the beginning of the second part.

                                                                          It is like a journey in which you take a coincidence somewhere. You need to be at a certain place at a certain time in order to continue. Similarly, define where characters are, what they are doing, what they know. The first part of the book should describe how they got there. The second part of the book should deal with where they go from there. How you organize the text within each section is up to you.

                                                                          A less simple approach.

                                                                          Each of you can write their section as they please, you could make whatever assumptions you like about the plot prior to your section of the story. Your friend can similarly decide to take whatever course they wish for their part of the story.

                                                                          Once you are done, you can sit together and write a few more chapters to bridge between the end point of one section and the beginning of the next. This is actually quite fun and it may require some good creative thinking.

                                                                          An even less simple approach.

                                                                          Both of you write a very skinny draft, just outlining the main story. Even a summary of different scenes should suffice. You should mark details that you are aware of and that occur during each scene in this draft. These details may need to be known across the two sections of the book. After this, you write a second, longer draft of the two sections. Again, make sure you exchange every detail of lore, or character characterization that you have added to make your section consistent: the other writer may need to reference them in their section.

                                                                          A third draft is probably going to be needed, but beyond that, it is just revisions.

                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                            1

                                                                            1

                                                                            1

                                                                            The simple approach.

                                                                            All you need to agree is what is the status quo at the end of the first part, which, incidentally, will be the status quo at the beginning of the second part.

                                                                            It is like a journey in which you take a coincidence somewhere. You need to be at a certain place at a certain time in order to continue. Similarly, define where characters are, what they are doing, what they know. The first part of the book should describe how they got there. The second part of the book should deal with where they go from there. How you organize the text within each section is up to you.

                                                                            A less simple approach.

                                                                            Each of you can write their section as they please, you could make whatever assumptions you like about the plot prior to your section of the story. Your friend can similarly decide to take whatever course they wish for their part of the story.

                                                                            Once you are done, you can sit together and write a few more chapters to bridge between the end point of one section and the beginning of the next. This is actually quite fun and it may require some good creative thinking.

                                                                            An even less simple approach.

                                                                            Both of you write a very skinny draft, just outlining the main story. Even a summary of different scenes should suffice. You should mark details that you are aware of and that occur during each scene in this draft. These details may need to be known across the two sections of the book. After this, you write a second, longer draft of the two sections. Again, make sure you exchange every detail of lore, or character characterization that you have added to make your section consistent: the other writer may need to reference them in their section.

                                                                            A third draft is probably going to be needed, but beyond that, it is just revisions.

                                                                            share|improve this answer

                                                                            The simple approach.

                                                                            All you need to agree is what is the status quo at the end of the first part, which, incidentally, will be the status quo at the beginning of the second part.

                                                                            It is like a journey in which you take a coincidence somewhere. You need to be at a certain place at a certain time in order to continue. Similarly, define where characters are, what they are doing, what they know. The first part of the book should describe how they got there. The second part of the book should deal with where they go from there. How you organize the text within each section is up to you.

                                                                            A less simple approach.

                                                                            Each of you can write their section as they please, you could make whatever assumptions you like about the plot prior to your section of the story. Your friend can similarly decide to take whatever course they wish for their part of the story.

                                                                            Once you are done, you can sit together and write a few more chapters to bridge between the end point of one section and the beginning of the next. This is actually quite fun and it may require some good creative thinking.

                                                                            An even less simple approach.

                                                                            Both of you write a very skinny draft, just outlining the main story. Even a summary of different scenes should suffice. You should mark details that you are aware of and that occur during each scene in this draft. These details may need to be known across the two sections of the book. After this, you write a second, longer draft of the two sections. Again, make sure you exchange every detail of lore, or character characterization that you have added to make your section consistent: the other writer may need to reference them in their section.

                                                                            A third draft is probably going to be needed, but beyond that, it is just revisions.

                                                                            share|improve this answer

                                                                            share|improve this answer

                                                                            share|improve this answer

                                                                            answered Jan 15 at 11:11

                                                                            NofPNofP

                                                                            1,148212

                                                                            1,148212

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                                                                                What are good platforms for collaborative writing with multiple senior authors with limited technical background?

                                                                                The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                                                                                5

                                                                                I am taking part in a project that involves several authors with so many back and forth in writing. I am curious to know what usually are digital platforms or role of thumbs in term of managing writing, edits, and comments by several authors who do not have a vast technical background and do not have time to learn new things such as GIT or LateX?

                                                                                Do you prefer google documents for example or what?

                                                                                share|improve this question

                                                                                • 1

                                                                                  I am not sure if ‘the best’ tool can be given as an objective answer, maybe the question needs to be rephrased?

                                                                                  – Jonas Schwarz
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:51

                                                                                • 2

                                                                                  Actually, you don’t need the “best” platform. You need one that everyone finds useful.

                                                                                  – Buffy
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:54

                                                                                • @JonasSchwarz: It doesn’t need to be objective, just supportable with evidence and/or experience (likely the latter, in this case). See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. “What is the best platform” is definitely better wording than “What are good platforms”, because the latter has no way to determine a single “best” answer for the OP to accept – it’s simply an unending list, and no one answer will provide a complete answer to the question. (That’s my opinion on the matter, at least.)

                                                                                  – V2Blast
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 7:33

                                                                                • Consider, within the solution space, if old school method works better than joint writing. Have a first author who compiles the different sections of work, manually, deals with conflicting edits, and makes final decisions.

                                                                                  – guest
                                                                                  Jan 23 at 5:08

                                                                                5

                                                                                I am taking part in a project that involves several authors with so many back and forth in writing. I am curious to know what usually are digital platforms or role of thumbs in term of managing writing, edits, and comments by several authors who do not have a vast technical background and do not have time to learn new things such as GIT or LateX?

                                                                                Do you prefer google documents for example or what?

                                                                                share|improve this question

                                                                                • 1

                                                                                  I am not sure if ‘the best’ tool can be given as an objective answer, maybe the question needs to be rephrased?

                                                                                  – Jonas Schwarz
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:51

                                                                                • 2

                                                                                  Actually, you don’t need the “best” platform. You need one that everyone finds useful.

                                                                                  – Buffy
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:54

                                                                                • @JonasSchwarz: It doesn’t need to be objective, just supportable with evidence and/or experience (likely the latter, in this case). See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. “What is the best platform” is definitely better wording than “What are good platforms”, because the latter has no way to determine a single “best” answer for the OP to accept – it’s simply an unending list, and no one answer will provide a complete answer to the question. (That’s my opinion on the matter, at least.)

                                                                                  – V2Blast
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 7:33

                                                                                • Consider, within the solution space, if old school method works better than joint writing. Have a first author who compiles the different sections of work, manually, deals with conflicting edits, and makes final decisions.

                                                                                  – guest
                                                                                  Jan 23 at 5:08

                                                                                5

                                                                                5

                                                                                5

                                                                                1

                                                                                I am taking part in a project that involves several authors with so many back and forth in writing. I am curious to know what usually are digital platforms or role of thumbs in term of managing writing, edits, and comments by several authors who do not have a vast technical background and do not have time to learn new things such as GIT or LateX?

                                                                                Do you prefer google documents for example or what?

                                                                                share|improve this question

                                                                                I am taking part in a project that involves several authors with so many back and forth in writing. I am curious to know what usually are digital platforms or role of thumbs in term of managing writing, edits, and comments by several authors who do not have a vast technical background and do not have time to learn new things such as GIT or LateX?

                                                                                Do you prefer google documents for example or what?

                                                                                writing collaboration

                                                                                share|improve this question

                                                                                share|improve this question

                                                                                share|improve this question

                                                                                share|improve this question

                                                                                edited Jan 12 at 19:59

                                                                                N00

                                                                                asked Jan 11 at 23:32

                                                                                N00N00

                                                                                6191218

                                                                                6191218

                                                                                • 1

                                                                                  I am not sure if ‘the best’ tool can be given as an objective answer, maybe the question needs to be rephrased?

                                                                                  – Jonas Schwarz
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:51

                                                                                • 2

                                                                                  Actually, you don’t need the “best” platform. You need one that everyone finds useful.

                                                                                  – Buffy
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:54

                                                                                • @JonasSchwarz: It doesn’t need to be objective, just supportable with evidence and/or experience (likely the latter, in this case). See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. “What is the best platform” is definitely better wording than “What are good platforms”, because the latter has no way to determine a single “best” answer for the OP to accept – it’s simply an unending list, and no one answer will provide a complete answer to the question. (That’s my opinion on the matter, at least.)

                                                                                  – V2Blast
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 7:33

                                                                                • Consider, within the solution space, if old school method works better than joint writing. Have a first author who compiles the different sections of work, manually, deals with conflicting edits, and makes final decisions.

                                                                                  – guest
                                                                                  Jan 23 at 5:08

                                                                                • 1

                                                                                  I am not sure if ‘the best’ tool can be given as an objective answer, maybe the question needs to be rephrased?

                                                                                  – Jonas Schwarz
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:51

                                                                                • 2

                                                                                  Actually, you don’t need the “best” platform. You need one that everyone finds useful.

                                                                                  – Buffy
                                                                                  Jan 11 at 23:54

                                                                                • @JonasSchwarz: It doesn’t need to be objective, just supportable with evidence and/or experience (likely the latter, in this case). See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. “What is the best platform” is definitely better wording than “What are good platforms”, because the latter has no way to determine a single “best” answer for the OP to accept – it’s simply an unending list, and no one answer will provide a complete answer to the question. (That’s my opinion on the matter, at least.)

                                                                                  – V2Blast
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 7:33

                                                                                • Consider, within the solution space, if old school method works better than joint writing. Have a first author who compiles the different sections of work, manually, deals with conflicting edits, and makes final decisions.

                                                                                  – guest
                                                                                  Jan 23 at 5:08

                                                                                1

                                                                                1

                                                                                I am not sure if ‘the best’ tool can be given as an objective answer, maybe the question needs to be rephrased?

                                                                                – Jonas Schwarz
                                                                                Jan 11 at 23:51

                                                                                I am not sure if ‘the best’ tool can be given as an objective answer, maybe the question needs to be rephrased?

                                                                                – Jonas Schwarz
                                                                                Jan 11 at 23:51

                                                                                2

                                                                                2

                                                                                Actually, you don’t need the “best” platform. You need one that everyone finds useful.

                                                                                – Buffy
                                                                                Jan 11 at 23:54

                                                                                Actually, you don’t need the “best” platform. You need one that everyone finds useful.

                                                                                – Buffy
                                                                                Jan 11 at 23:54

                                                                                @JonasSchwarz: It doesn’t need to be objective, just supportable with evidence and/or experience (likely the latter, in this case). See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. “What is the best platform” is definitely better wording than “What are good platforms”, because the latter has no way to determine a single “best” answer for the OP to accept – it’s simply an unending list, and no one answer will provide a complete answer to the question. (That’s my opinion on the matter, at least.)

                                                                                – V2Blast
                                                                                Jan 12 at 7:33

                                                                                @JonasSchwarz: It doesn’t need to be objective, just supportable with evidence and/or experience (likely the latter, in this case). See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. “What is the best platform” is definitely better wording than “What are good platforms”, because the latter has no way to determine a single “best” answer for the OP to accept – it’s simply an unending list, and no one answer will provide a complete answer to the question. (That’s my opinion on the matter, at least.)

                                                                                – V2Blast
                                                                                Jan 12 at 7:33

                                                                                Consider, within the solution space, if old school method works better than joint writing. Have a first author who compiles the different sections of work, manually, deals with conflicting edits, and makes final decisions.

                                                                                – guest
                                                                                Jan 23 at 5:08

                                                                                Consider, within the solution space, if old school method works better than joint writing. Have a first author who compiles the different sections of work, manually, deals with conflicting edits, and makes final decisions.

                                                                                – guest
                                                                                Jan 23 at 5:08

                                                                                2 Answers
                                                                                2

                                                                                active

                                                                                oldest

                                                                                votes

                                                                                6

                                                                                I use the following myself:

                                                                                Non-technical: Google docs. Low threshold, can do basic stuff, cannot view history. Main drawback: No version control. (Also my university in principle does not allow it, but if you promise not to tell anybody…)

                                                                                Technical, many collaborators: Overleaf. Can do full latex, not straightforward to go to commit history, but can be done since it is git based. I am not too fond of their interface, find it a bit clunky, but many of my collaborators really like it, so I use it anyway.

                                                                                Technical, few collaborators: latex documents on private gitlab instance. This is for me the best. Commit history easily accessible, anything you want to do, can be done. Gitlab even has a builtin IDE, so you can do small edits directly in the browser. Drawback: high threshold.

                                                                                This, for me, covers all use cases.

                                                                                share|improve this answer

                                                                                • 1

                                                                                  You can view history on Google docs. Office 365 now has a similar feature (online collaborative), so that’s another option and most universities have one of the two (we actually have both, so we’re at least AOK using Docs).

                                                                                  – guifa
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 1:27

                                                                                • 1

                                                                                  Google Docs does have some form of version control. You can view edit history, see who made what change when, and save named versions, and can revert to any recorded change if needed.

                                                                                  – GoodDeeds
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 16:06

                                                                                • 1

                                                                                  Thanks, then I also learned something today :-).

                                                                                  – nabla
                                                                                  Jan 13 at 20:05

                                                                                5

                                                                                If you are in a hurry, you might want to try an online TeX editor such as Overleaf.

                                                                                Another solution if you are using TeX would be to work alongside a version control system, e.g. git. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get used to it, though.

                                                                                I do not know about non-TeX-solutions but i feel that a plain-text format has a couple of advantages for this kind of application.

                                                                                I am looking forward to read other responses to learn about other options.

                                                                                share|improve this answer

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                                                                                  6

                                                                                  I use the following myself:

                                                                                  Non-technical: Google docs. Low threshold, can do basic stuff, cannot view history. Main drawback: No version control. (Also my university in principle does not allow it, but if you promise not to tell anybody…)

                                                                                  Technical, many collaborators: Overleaf. Can do full latex, not straightforward to go to commit history, but can be done since it is git based. I am not too fond of their interface, find it a bit clunky, but many of my collaborators really like it, so I use it anyway.

                                                                                  Technical, few collaborators: latex documents on private gitlab instance. This is for me the best. Commit history easily accessible, anything you want to do, can be done. Gitlab even has a builtin IDE, so you can do small edits directly in the browser. Drawback: high threshold.

                                                                                  This, for me, covers all use cases.

                                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    You can view history on Google docs. Office 365 now has a similar feature (online collaborative), so that’s another option and most universities have one of the two (we actually have both, so we’re at least AOK using Docs).

                                                                                    – guifa
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 1:27

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Google Docs does have some form of version control. You can view edit history, see who made what change when, and save named versions, and can revert to any recorded change if needed.

                                                                                    – GoodDeeds
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 16:06

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Thanks, then I also learned something today :-).

                                                                                    – nabla
                                                                                    Jan 13 at 20:05

                                                                                  6

                                                                                  I use the following myself:

                                                                                  Non-technical: Google docs. Low threshold, can do basic stuff, cannot view history. Main drawback: No version control. (Also my university in principle does not allow it, but if you promise not to tell anybody…)

                                                                                  Technical, many collaborators: Overleaf. Can do full latex, not straightforward to go to commit history, but can be done since it is git based. I am not too fond of their interface, find it a bit clunky, but many of my collaborators really like it, so I use it anyway.

                                                                                  Technical, few collaborators: latex documents on private gitlab instance. This is for me the best. Commit history easily accessible, anything you want to do, can be done. Gitlab even has a builtin IDE, so you can do small edits directly in the browser. Drawback: high threshold.

                                                                                  This, for me, covers all use cases.

                                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    You can view history on Google docs. Office 365 now has a similar feature (online collaborative), so that’s another option and most universities have one of the two (we actually have both, so we’re at least AOK using Docs).

                                                                                    – guifa
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 1:27

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Google Docs does have some form of version control. You can view edit history, see who made what change when, and save named versions, and can revert to any recorded change if needed.

                                                                                    – GoodDeeds
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 16:06

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Thanks, then I also learned something today :-).

                                                                                    – nabla
                                                                                    Jan 13 at 20:05

                                                                                  6

                                                                                  6

                                                                                  6

                                                                                  I use the following myself:

                                                                                  Non-technical: Google docs. Low threshold, can do basic stuff, cannot view history. Main drawback: No version control. (Also my university in principle does not allow it, but if you promise not to tell anybody…)

                                                                                  Technical, many collaborators: Overleaf. Can do full latex, not straightforward to go to commit history, but can be done since it is git based. I am not too fond of their interface, find it a bit clunky, but many of my collaborators really like it, so I use it anyway.

                                                                                  Technical, few collaborators: latex documents on private gitlab instance. This is for me the best. Commit history easily accessible, anything you want to do, can be done. Gitlab even has a builtin IDE, so you can do small edits directly in the browser. Drawback: high threshold.

                                                                                  This, for me, covers all use cases.

                                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                                  I use the following myself:

                                                                                  Non-technical: Google docs. Low threshold, can do basic stuff, cannot view history. Main drawback: No version control. (Also my university in principle does not allow it, but if you promise not to tell anybody…)

                                                                                  Technical, many collaborators: Overleaf. Can do full latex, not straightforward to go to commit history, but can be done since it is git based. I am not too fond of their interface, find it a bit clunky, but many of my collaborators really like it, so I use it anyway.

                                                                                  Technical, few collaborators: latex documents on private gitlab instance. This is for me the best. Commit history easily accessible, anything you want to do, can be done. Gitlab even has a builtin IDE, so you can do small edits directly in the browser. Drawback: high threshold.

                                                                                  This, for me, covers all use cases.

                                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                                  answered Jan 12 at 0:06

                                                                                  nablanabla

                                                                                  5,60221431

                                                                                  5,60221431

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    You can view history on Google docs. Office 365 now has a similar feature (online collaborative), so that’s another option and most universities have one of the two (we actually have both, so we’re at least AOK using Docs).

                                                                                    – guifa
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 1:27

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Google Docs does have some form of version control. You can view edit history, see who made what change when, and save named versions, and can revert to any recorded change if needed.

                                                                                    – GoodDeeds
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 16:06

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Thanks, then I also learned something today :-).

                                                                                    – nabla
                                                                                    Jan 13 at 20:05

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    You can view history on Google docs. Office 365 now has a similar feature (online collaborative), so that’s another option and most universities have one of the two (we actually have both, so we’re at least AOK using Docs).

                                                                                    – guifa
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 1:27

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Google Docs does have some form of version control. You can view edit history, see who made what change when, and save named versions, and can revert to any recorded change if needed.

                                                                                    – GoodDeeds
                                                                                    Jan 12 at 16:06

                                                                                  • 1

                                                                                    Thanks, then I also learned something today :-).

                                                                                    – nabla
                                                                                    Jan 13 at 20:05

                                                                                  1

                                                                                  1

                                                                                  You can view history on Google docs. Office 365 now has a similar feature (online collaborative), so that’s another option and most universities have one of the two (we actually have both, so we’re at least AOK using Docs).

                                                                                  – guifa
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 1:27

                                                                                  You can view history on Google docs. Office 365 now has a similar feature (online collaborative), so that’s another option and most universities have one of the two (we actually have both, so we’re at least AOK using Docs).

                                                                                  – guifa
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 1:27

                                                                                  1

                                                                                  1

                                                                                  Google Docs does have some form of version control. You can view edit history, see who made what change when, and save named versions, and can revert to any recorded change if needed.

                                                                                  – GoodDeeds
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 16:06

                                                                                  Google Docs does have some form of version control. You can view edit history, see who made what change when, and save named versions, and can revert to any recorded change if needed.

                                                                                  – GoodDeeds
                                                                                  Jan 12 at 16:06

                                                                                  1

                                                                                  1

                                                                                  Thanks, then I also learned something today :-).

                                                                                  – nabla
                                                                                  Jan 13 at 20:05

                                                                                  Thanks, then I also learned something today :-).

                                                                                  – nabla
                                                                                  Jan 13 at 20:05

                                                                                  5

                                                                                  If you are in a hurry, you might want to try an online TeX editor such as Overleaf.

                                                                                  Another solution if you are using TeX would be to work alongside a version control system, e.g. git. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get used to it, though.

                                                                                  I do not know about non-TeX-solutions but i feel that a plain-text format has a couple of advantages for this kind of application.

                                                                                  I am looking forward to read other responses to learn about other options.

                                                                                  share|improve this answer

                                                                                    5

                                                                                    If you are in a hurry, you might want to try an online TeX editor such as Overleaf.

                                                                                    Another solution if you are using TeX would be to work alongside a version control system, e.g. git. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get used to it, though.

                                                                                    I do not know about non-TeX-solutions but i feel that a plain-text format has a couple of advantages for this kind of application.

                                                                                    I am looking forward to read other responses to learn about other options.

                                                                                    share|improve this answer

                                                                                      5

                                                                                      5

                                                                                      5

                                                                                      If you are in a hurry, you might want to try an online TeX editor such as Overleaf.

                                                                                      Another solution if you are using TeX would be to work alongside a version control system, e.g. git. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get used to it, though.

                                                                                      I do not know about non-TeX-solutions but i feel that a plain-text format has a couple of advantages for this kind of application.

                                                                                      I am looking forward to read other responses to learn about other options.

                                                                                      share|improve this answer

                                                                                      If you are in a hurry, you might want to try an online TeX editor such as Overleaf.

                                                                                      Another solution if you are using TeX would be to work alongside a version control system, e.g. git. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get used to it, though.

                                                                                      I do not know about non-TeX-solutions but i feel that a plain-text format has a couple of advantages for this kind of application.

                                                                                      I am looking forward to read other responses to learn about other options.

                                                                                      share|improve this answer

                                                                                      share|improve this answer

                                                                                      share|improve this answer

                                                                                      answered Jan 11 at 23:50

                                                                                      Jonas SchwarzJonas Schwarz

                                                                                      1,1871823

                                                                                      1,1871823

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                                                                                          Should I accept authorship on large collaborations for which I have made little contribution?

                                                                                          The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

                                                                                          11

                                                                                          I have just started a post-doc. So far all of my papers have had small author lists (4-5 people). I have just been invited as a co-author on several papers with hundreds of authors. The papers are pitched as community-wide collaborations: some being white papers describing a future experiment that the community plans to engage in, others being the results from first data from such experiments. My contribution, and the contribution of 99% of the authors whose names are already there, have been negligible. What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          share|improve this question

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            Pros: papers for your CV; being a member of a collaboration; meetings. Cons (conditional): if you don’t publish anything outside the collaboration, you are considered as a free-loader. Doesn’t apply if you regularly publish papers not directly related to the collaboration.

                                                                                            – corey979
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 14:17

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            If there are hundreds of authors, realistically how big a contribution can one author make? Be a part of it if you are in the field. The field will understand the level of contribution.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:11

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @corey979 I’m not sure that meetings should always count as pro.

                                                                                            – Andreas Blass
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 20:46

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @smci Rather than necessarily being dodgy, this sort of arrangement is completely routine, particularly in fields like genetics, where dozens or hundreds of sites must pool data to reach the numbers required for meaningful analysis. Rather than being dodgy, such papers are often published in prestigious journals and can receive thousands of citations. Also look at large physics collaborations, like the Large Hadron Collider paper on the Higgs boson in Nature: it had 5000 authors.

                                                                                            – Michael MacAskill
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 5:00

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            @smci It’s extremely common in physics as well. Far from being predatory, these papers are published in the very best journals of our field, led by the top experts of our field. Surely it is field-dependent, but given that these papers often have many thousands of authors, it is a question that affects many academics.

                                                                                            – rhombidodecahedron
                                                                                            Jan 1 at 11:40

                                                                                          11

                                                                                          I have just started a post-doc. So far all of my papers have had small author lists (4-5 people). I have just been invited as a co-author on several papers with hundreds of authors. The papers are pitched as community-wide collaborations: some being white papers describing a future experiment that the community plans to engage in, others being the results from first data from such experiments. My contribution, and the contribution of 99% of the authors whose names are already there, have been negligible. What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          share|improve this question

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            Pros: papers for your CV; being a member of a collaboration; meetings. Cons (conditional): if you don’t publish anything outside the collaboration, you are considered as a free-loader. Doesn’t apply if you regularly publish papers not directly related to the collaboration.

                                                                                            – corey979
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 14:17

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            If there are hundreds of authors, realistically how big a contribution can one author make? Be a part of it if you are in the field. The field will understand the level of contribution.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:11

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @corey979 I’m not sure that meetings should always count as pro.

                                                                                            – Andreas Blass
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 20:46

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @smci Rather than necessarily being dodgy, this sort of arrangement is completely routine, particularly in fields like genetics, where dozens or hundreds of sites must pool data to reach the numbers required for meaningful analysis. Rather than being dodgy, such papers are often published in prestigious journals and can receive thousands of citations. Also look at large physics collaborations, like the Large Hadron Collider paper on the Higgs boson in Nature: it had 5000 authors.

                                                                                            – Michael MacAskill
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 5:00

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            @smci It’s extremely common in physics as well. Far from being predatory, these papers are published in the very best journals of our field, led by the top experts of our field. Surely it is field-dependent, but given that these papers often have many thousands of authors, it is a question that affects many academics.

                                                                                            – rhombidodecahedron
                                                                                            Jan 1 at 11:40

                                                                                          11

                                                                                          11

                                                                                          11

                                                                                          1

                                                                                          I have just started a post-doc. So far all of my papers have had small author lists (4-5 people). I have just been invited as a co-author on several papers with hundreds of authors. The papers are pitched as community-wide collaborations: some being white papers describing a future experiment that the community plans to engage in, others being the results from first data from such experiments. My contribution, and the contribution of 99% of the authors whose names are already there, have been negligible. What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          share|improve this question

                                                                                          I have just started a post-doc. So far all of my papers have had small author lists (4-5 people). I have just been invited as a co-author on several papers with hundreds of authors. The papers are pitched as community-wide collaborations: some being white papers describing a future experiment that the community plans to engage in, others being the results from first data from such experiments. My contribution, and the contribution of 99% of the authors whose names are already there, have been negligible. What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          authorship collaboration mega-collaborations

                                                                                          share|improve this question

                                                                                          share|improve this question

                                                                                          share|improve this question

                                                                                          share|improve this question

                                                                                          asked Dec 29 ’18 at 14:01

                                                                                          rhombidodecahedronrhombidodecahedron

                                                                                          482216

                                                                                          482216

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            Pros: papers for your CV; being a member of a collaboration; meetings. Cons (conditional): if you don’t publish anything outside the collaboration, you are considered as a free-loader. Doesn’t apply if you regularly publish papers not directly related to the collaboration.

                                                                                            – corey979
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 14:17

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            If there are hundreds of authors, realistically how big a contribution can one author make? Be a part of it if you are in the field. The field will understand the level of contribution.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:11

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @corey979 I’m not sure that meetings should always count as pro.

                                                                                            – Andreas Blass
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 20:46

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @smci Rather than necessarily being dodgy, this sort of arrangement is completely routine, particularly in fields like genetics, where dozens or hundreds of sites must pool data to reach the numbers required for meaningful analysis. Rather than being dodgy, such papers are often published in prestigious journals and can receive thousands of citations. Also look at large physics collaborations, like the Large Hadron Collider paper on the Higgs boson in Nature: it had 5000 authors.

                                                                                            – Michael MacAskill
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 5:00

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            @smci It’s extremely common in physics as well. Far from being predatory, these papers are published in the very best journals of our field, led by the top experts of our field. Surely it is field-dependent, but given that these papers often have many thousands of authors, it is a question that affects many academics.

                                                                                            – rhombidodecahedron
                                                                                            Jan 1 at 11:40

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            Pros: papers for your CV; being a member of a collaboration; meetings. Cons (conditional): if you don’t publish anything outside the collaboration, you are considered as a free-loader. Doesn’t apply if you regularly publish papers not directly related to the collaboration.

                                                                                            – corey979
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 14:17

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            If there are hundreds of authors, realistically how big a contribution can one author make? Be a part of it if you are in the field. The field will understand the level of contribution.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:11

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @corey979 I’m not sure that meetings should always count as pro.

                                                                                            – Andreas Blass
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 20:46

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            @smci Rather than necessarily being dodgy, this sort of arrangement is completely routine, particularly in fields like genetics, where dozens or hundreds of sites must pool data to reach the numbers required for meaningful analysis. Rather than being dodgy, such papers are often published in prestigious journals and can receive thousands of citations. Also look at large physics collaborations, like the Large Hadron Collider paper on the Higgs boson in Nature: it had 5000 authors.

                                                                                            – Michael MacAskill
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 5:00

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            @smci It’s extremely common in physics as well. Far from being predatory, these papers are published in the very best journals of our field, led by the top experts of our field. Surely it is field-dependent, but given that these papers often have many thousands of authors, it is a question that affects many academics.

                                                                                            – rhombidodecahedron
                                                                                            Jan 1 at 11:40

                                                                                          3

                                                                                          3

                                                                                          Pros: papers for your CV; being a member of a collaboration; meetings. Cons (conditional): if you don’t publish anything outside the collaboration, you are considered as a free-loader. Doesn’t apply if you regularly publish papers not directly related to the collaboration.

                                                                                          – corey979
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 14:17

                                                                                          Pros: papers for your CV; being a member of a collaboration; meetings. Cons (conditional): if you don’t publish anything outside the collaboration, you are considered as a free-loader. Doesn’t apply if you regularly publish papers not directly related to the collaboration.

                                                                                          – corey979
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 14:17

                                                                                          3

                                                                                          3

                                                                                          If there are hundreds of authors, realistically how big a contribution can one author make? Be a part of it if you are in the field. The field will understand the level of contribution.

                                                                                          – Jon Custer
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 17:11

                                                                                          If there are hundreds of authors, realistically how big a contribution can one author make? Be a part of it if you are in the field. The field will understand the level of contribution.

                                                                                          – Jon Custer
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 17:11

                                                                                          1

                                                                                          1

                                                                                          @corey979 I’m not sure that meetings should always count as pro.

                                                                                          – Andreas Blass
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 20:46

                                                                                          @corey979 I’m not sure that meetings should always count as pro.

                                                                                          – Andreas Blass
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 20:46

                                                                                          1

                                                                                          1

                                                                                          @smci Rather than necessarily being dodgy, this sort of arrangement is completely routine, particularly in fields like genetics, where dozens or hundreds of sites must pool data to reach the numbers required for meaningful analysis. Rather than being dodgy, such papers are often published in prestigious journals and can receive thousands of citations. Also look at large physics collaborations, like the Large Hadron Collider paper on the Higgs boson in Nature: it had 5000 authors.

                                                                                          – Michael MacAskill
                                                                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 5:00

                                                                                          @smci Rather than necessarily being dodgy, this sort of arrangement is completely routine, particularly in fields like genetics, where dozens or hundreds of sites must pool data to reach the numbers required for meaningful analysis. Rather than being dodgy, such papers are often published in prestigious journals and can receive thousands of citations. Also look at large physics collaborations, like the Large Hadron Collider paper on the Higgs boson in Nature: it had 5000 authors.

                                                                                          – Michael MacAskill
                                                                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 5:00

                                                                                          2

                                                                                          2

                                                                                          @smci It’s extremely common in physics as well. Far from being predatory, these papers are published in the very best journals of our field, led by the top experts of our field. Surely it is field-dependent, but given that these papers often have many thousands of authors, it is a question that affects many academics.

                                                                                          – rhombidodecahedron
                                                                                          Jan 1 at 11:40

                                                                                          @smci It’s extremely common in physics as well. Far from being predatory, these papers are published in the very best journals of our field, led by the top experts of our field. Surely it is field-dependent, but given that these papers often have many thousands of authors, it is a question that affects many academics.

                                                                                          – rhombidodecahedron
                                                                                          Jan 1 at 11:40

                                                                                          2 Answers
                                                                                          2

                                                                                          active

                                                                                          oldest

                                                                                          votes

                                                                                          10

                                                                                          What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          Pros

                                                                                          • Your contributions to the collaboration are formally acknowledged, both incentivizing you to continue working on it as well as putting the candle under your butt to get up to speed on anything you should be getting good at.
                                                                                          • Leaders in the collaboration see you listed as a contributing member, allowing your candidacy for the next round of projects that need attention by working group members. Generally, people reach out to include you going forward.
                                                                                          • You will be put on mailings that automatically include all researchers on the paper, keeping you up to speed as developments happen in real time.
                                                                                          • Your association with the project is beneficial to both your career (i.e., Look at this thing I worked on!) and the project itself (i.e., Look at this great contributor we have!).

                                                                                          Cons

                                                                                          • None. Literally none.

                                                                                          There is a related problem in academia called illegitimate co-authorship, or sometimes authorship inflation, but that is a problem to be tackled by policy. If this problem bothers you, find ways to contribute to the policies and incentives that systematically reinforce this behavior. Boycotting it personally will only serve to harm your career and be a drop in the bucket of the larger problem.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            Cons: they will always be highly-cited papers which will inflate your citation count and other metrics. People will interpret your citation counts with more skepticism or a “correction factor”, so your individual work may get lost in the noise.

                                                                                            – user71659
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 22:29

                                                                                          7

                                                                                          This sort of thing is common in many fields and unheard of in others. I suspect that in your field there are many such papers and, among other things, they establish your connection to a group of researchers who will, in the future, become leaders in the field.

                                                                                          So, yes, do that. And, as your career progresses your contributions will improve and increase.

                                                                                          There is at least one example of a paper in which the list of authors is longer than the paper itself. Possibly in a field like biochemistry, but I don’t remember the details.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            Large particle physics collaborations used to have a full author list in the paper. Fortunately that did not count against the page limit in, e.g., Physical Review Letters. Now the ‘author’ of those is a ‘collaboration’, the members of which can be found online.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:10

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            @JonCuster You likely refer to the (current) champion with 5154 authors (journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.191803, open access). Which is set in context to a few other “hyperauthorship” papers in a nature publication (nature.com/news/…) — equally accessible by open access.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 21:35

                                                                                          • @Buttonwood – even back in the 80’s there were PRLs with an author list longer than the actual paper (nominally limited to 3 pages only at that time!). Somewhere around 1988 or so they switched to listing just the ‘collaboration’, thereby keeping everyone to the 3 page limit.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 1:31

                                                                                          • @JonCuster The varying discern of ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-authorship’ (e.g. the related drosophila paper with ~900+ contributing undergrads), which may be a problem already within much smaller groups of authors, too is a reason why I like a section “Author Contributions” in PLoS One’s publications. And why the OP should seek to publish his/her results, if reasonable, separately, where his/her contributions may be more visible & influential to others. As reading body and SI of nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8, the “management style” in such “enterprise-like” groups varies.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 2:32

                                                                                          Your Answer

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                                                                                          2 Answers
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                                                                                          10

                                                                                          What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          Pros

                                                                                          • Your contributions to the collaboration are formally acknowledged, both incentivizing you to continue working on it as well as putting the candle under your butt to get up to speed on anything you should be getting good at.
                                                                                          • Leaders in the collaboration see you listed as a contributing member, allowing your candidacy for the next round of projects that need attention by working group members. Generally, people reach out to include you going forward.
                                                                                          • You will be put on mailings that automatically include all researchers on the paper, keeping you up to speed as developments happen in real time.
                                                                                          • Your association with the project is beneficial to both your career (i.e., Look at this thing I worked on!) and the project itself (i.e., Look at this great contributor we have!).

                                                                                          Cons

                                                                                          • None. Literally none.

                                                                                          There is a related problem in academia called illegitimate co-authorship, or sometimes authorship inflation, but that is a problem to be tackled by policy. If this problem bothers you, find ways to contribute to the policies and incentives that systematically reinforce this behavior. Boycotting it personally will only serve to harm your career and be a drop in the bucket of the larger problem.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            Cons: they will always be highly-cited papers which will inflate your citation count and other metrics. People will interpret your citation counts with more skepticism or a “correction factor”, so your individual work may get lost in the noise.

                                                                                            – user71659
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 22:29

                                                                                          10

                                                                                          What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          Pros

                                                                                          • Your contributions to the collaboration are formally acknowledged, both incentivizing you to continue working on it as well as putting the candle under your butt to get up to speed on anything you should be getting good at.
                                                                                          • Leaders in the collaboration see you listed as a contributing member, allowing your candidacy for the next round of projects that need attention by working group members. Generally, people reach out to include you going forward.
                                                                                          • You will be put on mailings that automatically include all researchers on the paper, keeping you up to speed as developments happen in real time.
                                                                                          • Your association with the project is beneficial to both your career (i.e., Look at this thing I worked on!) and the project itself (i.e., Look at this great contributor we have!).

                                                                                          Cons

                                                                                          • None. Literally none.

                                                                                          There is a related problem in academia called illegitimate co-authorship, or sometimes authorship inflation, but that is a problem to be tackled by policy. If this problem bothers you, find ways to contribute to the policies and incentives that systematically reinforce this behavior. Boycotting it personally will only serve to harm your career and be a drop in the bucket of the larger problem.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            Cons: they will always be highly-cited papers which will inflate your citation count and other metrics. People will interpret your citation counts with more skepticism or a “correction factor”, so your individual work may get lost in the noise.

                                                                                            – user71659
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 22:29

                                                                                          10

                                                                                          10

                                                                                          10

                                                                                          What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          Pros

                                                                                          • Your contributions to the collaboration are formally acknowledged, both incentivizing you to continue working on it as well as putting the candle under your butt to get up to speed on anything you should be getting good at.
                                                                                          • Leaders in the collaboration see you listed as a contributing member, allowing your candidacy for the next round of projects that need attention by working group members. Generally, people reach out to include you going forward.
                                                                                          • You will be put on mailings that automatically include all researchers on the paper, keeping you up to speed as developments happen in real time.
                                                                                          • Your association with the project is beneficial to both your career (i.e., Look at this thing I worked on!) and the project itself (i.e., Look at this great contributor we have!).

                                                                                          Cons

                                                                                          • None. Literally none.

                                                                                          There is a related problem in academia called illegitimate co-authorship, or sometimes authorship inflation, but that is a problem to be tackled by policy. If this problem bothers you, find ways to contribute to the policies and incentives that systematically reinforce this behavior. Boycotting it personally will only serve to harm your career and be a drop in the bucket of the larger problem.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          What are the pros and cons of agreeing to be on such a paper?

                                                                                          Pros

                                                                                          • Your contributions to the collaboration are formally acknowledged, both incentivizing you to continue working on it as well as putting the candle under your butt to get up to speed on anything you should be getting good at.
                                                                                          • Leaders in the collaboration see you listed as a contributing member, allowing your candidacy for the next round of projects that need attention by working group members. Generally, people reach out to include you going forward.
                                                                                          • You will be put on mailings that automatically include all researchers on the paper, keeping you up to speed as developments happen in real time.
                                                                                          • Your association with the project is beneficial to both your career (i.e., Look at this thing I worked on!) and the project itself (i.e., Look at this great contributor we have!).

                                                                                          Cons

                                                                                          • None. Literally none.

                                                                                          There is a related problem in academia called illegitimate co-authorship, or sometimes authorship inflation, but that is a problem to be tackled by policy. If this problem bothers you, find ways to contribute to the policies and incentives that systematically reinforce this behavior. Boycotting it personally will only serve to harm your career and be a drop in the bucket of the larger problem.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          answered Dec 29 ’18 at 19:23

                                                                                          user1717828user1717828

                                                                                          2,89921125

                                                                                          2,89921125

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            Cons: they will always be highly-cited papers which will inflate your citation count and other metrics. People will interpret your citation counts with more skepticism or a “correction factor”, so your individual work may get lost in the noise.

                                                                                            – user71659
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 22:29

                                                                                          • 2

                                                                                            Cons: they will always be highly-cited papers which will inflate your citation count and other metrics. People will interpret your citation counts with more skepticism or a “correction factor”, so your individual work may get lost in the noise.

                                                                                            – user71659
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 22:29

                                                                                          2

                                                                                          2

                                                                                          Cons: they will always be highly-cited papers which will inflate your citation count and other metrics. People will interpret your citation counts with more skepticism or a “correction factor”, so your individual work may get lost in the noise.

                                                                                          – user71659
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 22:29

                                                                                          Cons: they will always be highly-cited papers which will inflate your citation count and other metrics. People will interpret your citation counts with more skepticism or a “correction factor”, so your individual work may get lost in the noise.

                                                                                          – user71659
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 22:29

                                                                                          7

                                                                                          This sort of thing is common in many fields and unheard of in others. I suspect that in your field there are many such papers and, among other things, they establish your connection to a group of researchers who will, in the future, become leaders in the field.

                                                                                          So, yes, do that. And, as your career progresses your contributions will improve and increase.

                                                                                          There is at least one example of a paper in which the list of authors is longer than the paper itself. Possibly in a field like biochemistry, but I don’t remember the details.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            Large particle physics collaborations used to have a full author list in the paper. Fortunately that did not count against the page limit in, e.g., Physical Review Letters. Now the ‘author’ of those is a ‘collaboration’, the members of which can be found online.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:10

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            @JonCuster You likely refer to the (current) champion with 5154 authors (journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.191803, open access). Which is set in context to a few other “hyperauthorship” papers in a nature publication (nature.com/news/…) — equally accessible by open access.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 21:35

                                                                                          • @Buttonwood – even back in the 80’s there were PRLs with an author list longer than the actual paper (nominally limited to 3 pages only at that time!). Somewhere around 1988 or so they switched to listing just the ‘collaboration’, thereby keeping everyone to the 3 page limit.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 1:31

                                                                                          • @JonCuster The varying discern of ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-authorship’ (e.g. the related drosophila paper with ~900+ contributing undergrads), which may be a problem already within much smaller groups of authors, too is a reason why I like a section “Author Contributions” in PLoS One’s publications. And why the OP should seek to publish his/her results, if reasonable, separately, where his/her contributions may be more visible & influential to others. As reading body and SI of nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8, the “management style” in such “enterprise-like” groups varies.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 2:32

                                                                                          7

                                                                                          This sort of thing is common in many fields and unheard of in others. I suspect that in your field there are many such papers and, among other things, they establish your connection to a group of researchers who will, in the future, become leaders in the field.

                                                                                          So, yes, do that. And, as your career progresses your contributions will improve and increase.

                                                                                          There is at least one example of a paper in which the list of authors is longer than the paper itself. Possibly in a field like biochemistry, but I don’t remember the details.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            Large particle physics collaborations used to have a full author list in the paper. Fortunately that did not count against the page limit in, e.g., Physical Review Letters. Now the ‘author’ of those is a ‘collaboration’, the members of which can be found online.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:10

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            @JonCuster You likely refer to the (current) champion with 5154 authors (journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.191803, open access). Which is set in context to a few other “hyperauthorship” papers in a nature publication (nature.com/news/…) — equally accessible by open access.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 21:35

                                                                                          • @Buttonwood – even back in the 80’s there were PRLs with an author list longer than the actual paper (nominally limited to 3 pages only at that time!). Somewhere around 1988 or so they switched to listing just the ‘collaboration’, thereby keeping everyone to the 3 page limit.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 1:31

                                                                                          • @JonCuster The varying discern of ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-authorship’ (e.g. the related drosophila paper with ~900+ contributing undergrads), which may be a problem already within much smaller groups of authors, too is a reason why I like a section “Author Contributions” in PLoS One’s publications. And why the OP should seek to publish his/her results, if reasonable, separately, where his/her contributions may be more visible & influential to others. As reading body and SI of nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8, the “management style” in such “enterprise-like” groups varies.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 2:32

                                                                                          7

                                                                                          7

                                                                                          7

                                                                                          This sort of thing is common in many fields and unheard of in others. I suspect that in your field there are many such papers and, among other things, they establish your connection to a group of researchers who will, in the future, become leaders in the field.

                                                                                          So, yes, do that. And, as your career progresses your contributions will improve and increase.

                                                                                          There is at least one example of a paper in which the list of authors is longer than the paper itself. Possibly in a field like biochemistry, but I don’t remember the details.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          This sort of thing is common in many fields and unheard of in others. I suspect that in your field there are many such papers and, among other things, they establish your connection to a group of researchers who will, in the future, become leaders in the field.

                                                                                          So, yes, do that. And, as your career progresses your contributions will improve and increase.

                                                                                          There is at least one example of a paper in which the list of authors is longer than the paper itself. Possibly in a field like biochemistry, but I don’t remember the details.

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          share|improve this answer

                                                                                          answered Dec 29 ’18 at 15:17

                                                                                          BuffyBuffy

                                                                                          39.6k9125204

                                                                                          39.6k9125204

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            Large particle physics collaborations used to have a full author list in the paper. Fortunately that did not count against the page limit in, e.g., Physical Review Letters. Now the ‘author’ of those is a ‘collaboration’, the members of which can be found online.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:10

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            @JonCuster You likely refer to the (current) champion with 5154 authors (journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.191803, open access). Which is set in context to a few other “hyperauthorship” papers in a nature publication (nature.com/news/…) — equally accessible by open access.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 21:35

                                                                                          • @Buttonwood – even back in the 80’s there were PRLs with an author list longer than the actual paper (nominally limited to 3 pages only at that time!). Somewhere around 1988 or so they switched to listing just the ‘collaboration’, thereby keeping everyone to the 3 page limit.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 1:31

                                                                                          • @JonCuster The varying discern of ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-authorship’ (e.g. the related drosophila paper with ~900+ contributing undergrads), which may be a problem already within much smaller groups of authors, too is a reason why I like a section “Author Contributions” in PLoS One’s publications. And why the OP should seek to publish his/her results, if reasonable, separately, where his/her contributions may be more visible & influential to others. As reading body and SI of nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8, the “management style” in such “enterprise-like” groups varies.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 2:32

                                                                                          • 1

                                                                                            Large particle physics collaborations used to have a full author list in the paper. Fortunately that did not count against the page limit in, e.g., Physical Review Letters. Now the ‘author’ of those is a ‘collaboration’, the members of which can be found online.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 17:10

                                                                                          • 3

                                                                                            @JonCuster You likely refer to the (current) champion with 5154 authors (journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.191803, open access). Which is set in context to a few other “hyperauthorship” papers in a nature publication (nature.com/news/…) — equally accessible by open access.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 29 ’18 at 21:35

                                                                                          • @Buttonwood – even back in the 80’s there were PRLs with an author list longer than the actual paper (nominally limited to 3 pages only at that time!). Somewhere around 1988 or so they switched to listing just the ‘collaboration’, thereby keeping everyone to the 3 page limit.

                                                                                            – Jon Custer
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 1:31

                                                                                          • @JonCuster The varying discern of ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-authorship’ (e.g. the related drosophila paper with ~900+ contributing undergrads), which may be a problem already within much smaller groups of authors, too is a reason why I like a section “Author Contributions” in PLoS One’s publications. And why the OP should seek to publish his/her results, if reasonable, separately, where his/her contributions may be more visible & influential to others. As reading body and SI of nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8, the “management style” in such “enterprise-like” groups varies.

                                                                                            – Buttonwood
                                                                                            Dec 30 ’18 at 2:32

                                                                                          1

                                                                                          1

                                                                                          Large particle physics collaborations used to have a full author list in the paper. Fortunately that did not count against the page limit in, e.g., Physical Review Letters. Now the ‘author’ of those is a ‘collaboration’, the members of which can be found online.

                                                                                          – Jon Custer
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 17:10

                                                                                          Large particle physics collaborations used to have a full author list in the paper. Fortunately that did not count against the page limit in, e.g., Physical Review Letters. Now the ‘author’ of those is a ‘collaboration’, the members of which can be found online.

                                                                                          – Jon Custer
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 17:10

                                                                                          3

                                                                                          3

                                                                                          @JonCuster You likely refer to the (current) champion with 5154 authors (journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.191803, open access). Which is set in context to a few other “hyperauthorship” papers in a nature publication (nature.com/news/…) — equally accessible by open access.

                                                                                          – Buttonwood
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 21:35

                                                                                          @JonCuster You likely refer to the (current) champion with 5154 authors (journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.191803, open access). Which is set in context to a few other “hyperauthorship” papers in a nature publication (nature.com/news/…) — equally accessible by open access.

                                                                                          – Buttonwood
                                                                                          Dec 29 ’18 at 21:35

                                                                                          @Buttonwood – even back in the 80’s there were PRLs with an author list longer than the actual paper (nominally limited to 3 pages only at that time!). Somewhere around 1988 or so they switched to listing just the ‘collaboration’, thereby keeping everyone to the 3 page limit.

                                                                                          – Jon Custer
                                                                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 1:31

                                                                                          @Buttonwood – even back in the 80’s there were PRLs with an author list longer than the actual paper (nominally limited to 3 pages only at that time!). Somewhere around 1988 or so they switched to listing just the ‘collaboration’, thereby keeping everyone to the 3 page limit.

                                                                                          – Jon Custer
                                                                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 1:31

                                                                                          @JonCuster The varying discern of ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-authorship’ (e.g. the related drosophila paper with ~900+ contributing undergrads), which may be a problem already within much smaller groups of authors, too is a reason why I like a section “Author Contributions” in PLoS One’s publications. And why the OP should seek to publish his/her results, if reasonable, separately, where his/her contributions may be more visible & influential to others. As reading body and SI of nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8, the “management style” in such “enterprise-like” groups varies.

                                                                                          – Buttonwood
                                                                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 2:32

                                                                                          @JonCuster The varying discern of ‘collaboration’ and ‘co-authorship’ (e.g. the related drosophila paper with ~900+ contributing undergrads), which may be a problem already within much smaller groups of authors, too is a reason why I like a section “Author Contributions” in PLoS One’s publications. And why the OP should seek to publish his/her results, if reasonable, separately, where his/her contributions may be more visible & influential to others. As reading body and SI of nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06185-8, the “management style” in such “enterprise-like” groups varies.

                                                                                          – Buttonwood
                                                                                          Dec 30 ’18 at 2:32

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