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The Byline: Thoughts on the distribution of author ranks in multiauthored papers

Authors
Journal
Mathematical and Computer Modelling
0895-7177
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
38
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0895-7177(03)90090-2
Keywords
  • Multiauthorship Matrix
  • Byline
  • Author Productivity Distribution
  • Authors Per Paper
  • Rank Distribution
  • Predicted Rank
  • Seed

Abstract

Abstract We analyze the multiauthorship matrix M, defined as the matrix where a cell M (j, κ) denotes the number of times authors with j publications are ranked as the κ th author of an article. We prove that if the distribution of the number of authors per paper follows a power law, then the author rank distribution is approximately equal to this power law (more precisely, equal in Landau's big O sense). We further determine the author rank distribution in the case where authors can be characterized through a seed number; this is the probability of preceding a fixed author in the byline of an article. Such a seed is determined for alphabetical ranking of authors using the standard western alphabet.

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