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Reactive Tendencies of Bibliometric Indicators: Trends in the Alphabetization of Authorship in Economics and Information Science

Tove Faber Frandsen and Jeppe Nicolaisen

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


The paper presents the results of a longitudinal study of credit assignment practices in the fields of economics and information science. The practice of alphabetization of authorship is demonstrated to vary significantly between the two fields. A slight increase is demonstrated to have taken place in economics during the last 30 years (1978-2007). A substantial decrease is demonstrated to have taken place in information science during the same period. A possible explanation for the demonstrated difference could be that information scientists have been much more aware of the bibliometric consequences of being first author compared to their colleagues in comparable fields (e.g., economics). This and other possible reactive tendencies of bibliometric indicators are presented and discussed.

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