14.5 Author's Credentials, Degrees, or Honorifics

14.5 "...Record the author's relevant degrees or credentials, for evaluation purposes.  Relevant means relevant to the author's expertise on the subject she or he is writing about."  

For this citation -- how do I cite the author's credentials, degrees, or honorifics if they have since earned more to add to their F.A.S.G.?  Do I leave it to reflect the credentials at the time of the author's original publication date or update to reflect current credentials? 

Many thanks! 

Submitted byEEon Sat, 05/04/2013 - 08:45


Let's back up to the first sentence of EE 14.5: "Many articles of yesteryear and some modern ones include an author's educational or professional credentials in the byline."

Those last three words are key. We identify authors by what appears in the byline. If a female author marries after writing a book or article, we don't cite an earlier book by the new name; we continue to use what appears in the byline. Similarly, if an author acquires degrees or credentials after writing a book or article, we still use what is there in the byline. That piece of information reflects the expertise that went into the creation of the work we are citing, not expertise acquired at some point thereafter. This principle is also analogous to the rule for citing the original publication date when identifying a reprint; the data we provide on the book should reflect the time frame in which it was created because that time frame reflects a certain set of standards and practices.

The rest of EE 14.5 is important also: Under most circumstances, credentials and degrees do not appear in citations. In fields where a certain degree or credential is required to practice, they are rarely used. In a field that allows practice without a specific degree or credential or if the byline credential or degree reflects expertise in the specific topic the writer is addressing in a cross-over forum, then it might be appropriate to emphasize the relevant credentials in a reference note or a classroom handout.