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The Effects of Listing Authors in Alphabetical Order: A survey of the Empirical Evidence

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  • Matthias Weber

    () (Bank of Lithuania & Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University)

Abstract

Each time researchers jointly write an article, a decision must be made about the order in which the authors are listed. There are two main norms for doing so. The vast majority of scientific disciplines use a contribution-based norm according to which authors who contributed the most are listed first. Very few disciplines, most notably economics, instead resort primarily to the norm of listing authors in alphabetical order. It has been argued that (i) this alphabetical norm gives an unfair advantage to researchers with last names starting with a letter early in the alphabet and that (ii) researchers are aware of this "alphabetical discrimination" and react strategically to it, for example through avoiding collaborations with multiple others. This article surveys the empirical literature on these two related topics. Overall, there is convincing evidence that alphabetical discrimination exists and that researchers react to it.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Weber, 2016. "The Effects of Listing Authors in Alphabetical Order: A survey of the Empirical Evidence," Bank of Lithuania Occasional Paper Series 12, Bank of Lithuania.
  • Handle: RePEc:lie:opaper:12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Debraj Ray & Arthur Robson, 2018. "Certified Random: A New Order for Coauthorship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 489-520, February.
    2. Ong, David & Chan, Ho Fai & Torgler, Benno & Yang, Yu (Alan), 2018. "Collaboration incentives: Endogenous selection into single and coauthorships by surname initial in economics and management," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 41-57.

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