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July 27, 1970

Sequence of Authors' Names In Articles

Author Affiliations

Duarte, Calif

JAMA. 1970;213(4):628. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170300072027

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To the Editor.—  The editorial by Frank Hinman, Jr., MD, (212:618, 1970) offers a practical sequence of authors' names in association with scientific articles. The suggestion made by Dr. Hinman would be practical and useful had not a recent change been made in the manner of listing references in most scientific journals. References currently list the first three authors by name and then include the remaining authors by an "et al." This format for listing references, therefore, eliminates the last-named individual who, according to Dr. Hinman's recommendation, would be the secondmost important contributor to the article. In order to repair this miscarriage of accreditation, I suggest that the authors be listed in decreasing order of their contribution to the paper, so that the second name would be that of the secondmost important contributor. An alternative would be to change the manner of listing authors in the references so that