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To the Editor:—
Anent the editorial, "et al, The New Fraternity" in the May 11 issue of The Journal (184:497), perhaps a further deterrent to the obnoxious practice of extreme multiple authorship will be offered if the medical profession is made aware of the new practice which will be followed from 1964 on by the National Library of Medicine in preparing Index Medicus. A maximum of three names will appear in the printed Index Medicus with appropriate cross references to the first author. When four or more are involved, authors' names will be fed into the Medlars computer system but will not appear in print. I am not quite sure whether the new policy means that no name except that of the first author will appear (followed, no doubt, by et al) when there are more than three, or whether the first three (followed by et al) will appear.
Johnson BC. The New Fraternity. JAMA. 1963;185(12):984. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060120094040