Recently I got a cite in a research paper where the author cited my work as [first name] et al, where it should have been [last name] et al. Is there any problem for indexing purpose? should I contact the journal editor about this incident and ask for correction?
Yes, that's a problem, and you will absolutely want to fix it. The problem is that it's actually a two-stage problem to correct:
- First, you will need to contact the journal to fix the citation.
- Then, after the citation has been corrected in the article, you'll need to submit a correction request to the various citation trackers (such as ISI and Scopus). They will need to fix your citation in their database, if the article has already been entered.
Note: It may or may not be possible to correct the journal—the editors may or may not be willing to issue a correction to fix a reference. However, it may be possible to correct the reference with the citation indices, even if it's not correct in the journal. However, the road will be tougher; you'll need to show that the paper that should be cited is indisputably yours.