Heath-Brown, D. Goldston, "A note on the difference between consecutive primes," Math. Annalen , In Medicine and in Surgery, the convention is similar to that of the Physical Sciences with the most significant contributor being first or last, or with the owner of the lab equipment or funding getting senior author position as the last author. However, there is a curve ball in Medical and Surgical Journals in that the first three authors are the ones who gain the most credit. The reason for this is that back in the pre-WWW-historic era, when I wrote papers that went into Surgical journals and when I went through medical school and surgical residency, the medical journal articles were all indexed in the Index Medicus.
The Index Medicus was a hard-copy index prepared at the end of each year and found in every medical library with three sets of listings sorted by Medical E-something Subject Headings MeSH , title of the journal article, and the last name of the first three authors. This paper index was how people found journal articles of interest and how the authors gained "publication cred.
Because of the problem with "author inflation" people being added to author lists as a courtesy or to accomodate seniority , journals in medical fields such as JAMA Journal of the American Medical Association now require authors to submit signed Authorship Responsibility Forms which outline specifically what constitutes valid criteria for being listed as an author on a paper:.
Obtaining funding is listed as one of the possible criteria, as are administrative, technical, or material support. Some of these criteria surprised me as being rather flimsy in some contexts. Placing the authors out-of-order in a mathematics paper makes a strong statement -- that one author has contributed significantly more than another.
There are problems with the alphabetical system, and there are also problems with the ordered-by-contribution system, e. To be fair, the proportion of papers that have authors out-of-order should be contrasted with the likelihood of a random permutation of those authors' names being out-of-order. So, we should disregard papers with a single author. If there's two authors, then there's a 0. Then we need to keep in mind that there's fewer papers with 3 or more authors.
There are examples not just famous ones around in the mathematics journals if you look for them I'm guessing often people wouldn't even notice that they're out of alphabetical order.
My former supervisor has two:. Taylor, I. Wanless and N. Boland, Distance domination and amplifier placement problems, Australas.
Wanless and E. Ihrig, Symmetries that Latin squares inherit from 1-factorizations, J. In medicine, I have seen two standards used. In one style, the first author is the one who has contributed the most to the paper or the senior most author , with the rest in order of the degree of their contribution.
In the other style, the first author is the "second in command", often the graduate student or medical student or surgical resident who was written the bulk of the paper, with the leader of the lab or the senior-most researcher listed as the last author. I have seen this explained in both ways to students: that the first spot is the most prestigious according to some researchers and that the last spot is the most prestigious according to some researchers.
There seems to be a dividing point between biologists and chemists as to the ordering of prestige. Alphabetical order is used for the sub-levels of contributors: i. Don't know if the question is appropriate for math-overflow, but I will try to quickly answer it anyway. The rule is not totally universal, but it has become very common. It is certainly the norm in theoretical computer science my area.
It is common enough that when the author order is not alphabetical, it looks strange. One assumes that the first authors must have done almost all the work and the others probably insisted on being listed behind them. See authors written in reverse alphabetical order on Atlas of finite groups page. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Math paper authors' order Ask Question.
Asked 9 years, 6 months ago. Active 10 months ago. Viewed 19k times. There are very few exceptions. I think the Oort-Tate paper is Tate-Oort? But everyone refers to it as Oort-Tate.
Conventions of Scientific Authorship
Perron proved the first version, then later Frobenius proved a generalization. At my university our tenure files include a cover sheet that explain the various norms in mathematics that might be surprising to committee members in other fields. One is the convention that authors are listed in alphabetical order; another is that we have no tradition of refereed conference papers or book chapters.
Savitt Apr 2 '10 at I guess if there had been a third author, they would have needed to write 6 books. Dylan Thurston. But indeed, non-alphabetization is very rare. Leah Wrenn Berman. I heard David Cox explain during a recent dinner that upon meeting Steven Zucker as grad students, they immediately decided they had to co-author a paper together which would happen several years later. There was never any intention of not using alphabetical order. Leonid Petrov.
In China, sometimes people pronounce their names using dialect. Like sur name "Zhang", in Hongkong, it is pronouced as "Chang". It is free, people have different choices in nonenglish speaking countries. Lin Oct 12 '11 at Igor Pak. As for why: It is seen to be unfair to say one person's work is more important than another's when each depends on the other's results and insights in a critical way. Colin Reid. In mathematics, there usually aren't.
One result is that there are many more authors on science papers than on mathematical papers. It's hard to find mathematics papers with 5 or more coauthors, but there are many experimental papers with over 15 authors. In this month's issue of Nature, I count 13, 29 including a consortium , 1 consortium , 27, and 26 authors. And his eyes are always really, really big when he is surprised. Douglas Zare. I only regret that it is impossible to get your article in a refereed journal to appear on the exact day you want.
Even with arXiv the precision is not high enough, though they came pretty close. I want to give this two up votes. Alexander Woo. John Stillwell. Like a boy named Sue. He has called this his most lasting contribution to the subject! I think this was first published in a compute science journal where it is common to have authors out of order : portal.
Stones Apr 2 '10 at It'd good for them and also gives them more responsibility. I have no idea if this situation really happens.
Perhaps this is why Hardy and Littlewood had their fourth axiom I solved a mathematical problem for them, this was reported in an appendix. However, when the journal referee reports came it, the journal said I should be added as an author. So I was And that's why the names are not alphabetical: Rao, C. Radhakrishna; Srivastava, R. If authors are listed based on their surname instead of their contribution, this can lead to alphabetical discrimination.
For instance, scholars late in the alphabet write papers on their best ideas alone more often than scholars earlier in the alphabet in fields where an alphabetical norm prevails. Scholars late in the alphabet are also less likely to collaborate with multiple others under an alphabetical norm," writes Weber on the LSE Impact Blog.
Lost in the middle: Author order matters, OMRF paper says
In most disciplines, the order of authors in journal articles is determined by their contribution to the research. But in fields such as high energy physics, where there are often over a thousand authors on a research paper , alphabetical listing is the norm. According to Kevin Varvell, a high energy particle physicist at the University of Sydney , this alphabetical name ordering can create barriers for researchers when they apply for grants or jobs outside their field.
In these scenarios, researchers are often evaluated by people in other disciplines which use contribution-based authorship. Alphabetical discrimination is particularly rife in economics where alphabetical author listing is the norm, Weber notes.
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The study also revealed that A-surname authors receive more abstract views and paper downloads than Z-surname authors. Weber points out that the visibility advantage can also fuel discrimination against women, early-career researchers and authors from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Many Chinese surnames, for example, begin with letters late in the alphabet. But Weber found researchers are reacting in a number of ways to overcome the hurdles associated with having surnames late in the alphabet.
Others resort to manipulating their surnames to move closer to the front.