Giving credit where credit is due is always proper form in research papers. When there are multiple authors and/or contributors, it is customary to start listing alphabetically. In the cases where there are a large volume of names, they will use the first alphabetically appropriate researcher’s first initial and last name, with et al. to save space. The lesson here is that those whose names occur early in the alphabet have an obvious advantage. This interesting topic was brought to us by The Wall Street Journal in their article, “Scientists Observe Odd Phenomenon Of Multiplying Co-Authors.”

There seems to be an accelerating trend in science—the growth in the number of people who get credits. This notable spike since 2009 includes some cases of authorship exceeding 1,000 people. The first position of credit is typically the one that holds the most prestige. In the universe of notoriety, it will be interesting to see where these trends take us.

Melody K. Smith

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