Citations and Individuals: First Authorship across the Alphabet
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The presence of a bias in citation counts drawn from sources with first-author citations only are investigated. The study finds systematic bias against authors whose last names begin with letters that occur later in the alphabet, with authors receiving approximately one-half percent less first author citations of the total pieces per letter the later their names are in the alphabet. Given these biases, counts should certainly be used with care. Perhaps there are ways of improving them by either maintaining professionally-based citation counts or by lobbying sources, such as the Social Science Citation Index, to include all authors in their counts.
Review of Agricultural Economics
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