Publication Peculiarities: Author Lists

Continuing my series of posts on publication peculiarities, I turn to author lists with interesting features.

Repeated Surnames

We are looking for authors who share the same surnames and preferably are not related. It would be hard to beat

Allen Goodman, Joshua Goodman, Lucas Goodman and Sarena Goodman, A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors, Economic Inquiry, 2014.

These four economists got together to write their paper about surname-sharing economist co-authors with the ulterior motive of beating the previous record of three.

A weaker requirement is surnames beginning with the same letter, for which we offer

Steven Mackey, Niloufer Mackey, Christian Mehl and Volker Mehrmann, Structured Polynomial Eigenvalue Problems: Good Vibrations from Good Linearizations, SIAM J. Matrix Anal. Appl. 28 (4), 1029-1051, 2006

Repeated Forenames

Since Nick Trefethen does not go by his first name, I claim that the following example is valid for three Nicks:

Nicholas Hale, Nicholas John Higham and Lloyd Nicholas Trefethen, Computing A^\alpha, \log(A), and Related Matrix Functions by Contour Integrals, SIAM J. Numer. Anal. 46, 2505-2523, 2008.

Reversed Names

Ideally I would like a pair of authors for which the first name of each is the last name of the other. The closest I’ve found is:

Philippe Chartier and Bernard Philippe, A Parallel Shooting Technique for Solving Dissipative ODE’s, Computing 51, 209-236, 1993.

Names Beginning with Consecutive Letters

Here is a run of four surnames beginning with consecutive letters:

D. Bremner, T. M. Chan, E. D. Demaine, J. Erickson, F. Hurtado, J. Iacono, S. Langerman, and P. Taslakian. Necklaces, convolutions, and X + Y. In Y. Azar and T. Erlebach, editors, Algorithms–ESA 2006, volume 4168 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 160–171. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2006.

The next paper goes even better by starting at “A”:

J. I. Aliaga, J. M. Badía, M. Castillo, D. Davidovic, Rafael Mayo and Enrique S. Quintana-Ortí, Out-Of-Core Macromolecular Simulations on Multithreaded Architectures, Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 2014.

A famous example, for the Greek alphabet, is

R. A. Alpher, H. Bethe and G. Gamow, The Origin of Chemical Elements, Physical Review 73, 803-804, 1948

According to Freeman Dyson, “Bethe had nothing to do with the writing of the paper but allowed his name to be put on it to fill the gap between Alpher and Gamow.”

Names Far Apart

In contrast to the previous section, here we are looking for names that are spaced as far apart in the alphabet as possible. For two authors this is the most extreme case:

H. Ashley and G. Zartarian, Piston Theory—A New Aerodynamic Tool for the Aeroelastician, Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences 23, 1109-1118, 1956.

Cyclic Repetition

Can we find an author list in which the surnames repeat cyclically? I offer

A. S. Lin, C. H. Chen, H. G. Hwu, H. N. Lin and J. A. Chen, Psychopathological Dimensions in Schizophrenia: a Correlational Approach To Items of the SANS and SAPS. Psychiatry Research 77, 121-130, 1998.

Titles that Look Like the Authors

If you’re going to write about the programming language R, it helps if your first name begins with “R”:

R. Ihaka and R. Gentleman, R: A Language for Data Analysis and Graphics, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 5, 299-314, 1996

However, it would be hard to beat the next paper, whose author (Walter Russell Brain) not only got his name into the title, but also published the paper in a journal of the same name: a triple whammy!

Lord Brain, Some Reflections on Brain and Mind, Brain 86, 381-402, 1963


Finally, we have a long author list with the first and last surnames the same:

Ling Zhang, Zhongshan Li, Ting-Zhu Huang, Qing-Fang Zhu, Jian Hua and Lihua Zhang, Periodic, Reducible, Powerful Ray Pattern Matrices, Linear Algebra Appl. 444, 81-88, 2014.

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