Chinese authors are publishing more and more papers, but are they receiving due credit and recognition for their work? Not if their names get confused along the way. Jane Qiu investigates these, and other questions, in a Nature news feature in the current issue of the journal (Nature 451, 766-767; 2008). The article covers the huge problem of how to distinguish between Asian researchers, given the vast numbers of people sharing relatively few surnames. The problem is particularly challenging in the publishing sphere, not only in identifying an author correctly in citation databases and other indeces, but for editors in choosing appropriate peer-reviewers. Asian researchers suffer in being hampered from full participation in the international scientific community, for example they are less likely to be invited to contribute to conferences, to be successful in grant applications or to win awards.