My name is John Smith and I'm writing a paper. In the discussion of the existing literature, I cite quite a few papers from another team, including many whose first author was a David Smith. I usually write this using heavily the “et al” style:
Einstein et al. first established in 1976 a possible plan for eradicating world hunger by massive beet culture in Antartica,1 but it took 20 years before Wiles et al. clearly delineated the challenges of such a prospect.2 The earlier analyses, by Smith et al.,3–7 held the narrow view that climate3–5 and transportation issues6–7 would be the limiting factors, forgetting to address the marketing aspects and negative implications on consumer image of the brand. In this paper, we present …
(the journal style calls for superscript numbers for citations)
Now, it seems somewhat likely that the reader may think the Smith from “Smith et al.” may actually be me. How should I help avoid this?
- Not worrying about it.
- Use first name or initial, “David Smith et al.” or “D. Smith et al.”
- Choosing another author, like the last author, as in “Professor et al.”?
- Some other formulation?