In primary publications, such as journals or conference proceedings, it is a common practise not to use the title or designation of authors in the front-matter.

What are the most compelling reasons for not including those information? Or in other words, are there any disadvantages?

  • 4
    Most likely, it's convention. – Dave Clarke Sep 26 '12 at 8:25
  • Other than convention, what else could be? – Noble P. Abraham Sep 26 '12 at 8:42
  • 2
    @NobleP.Abraham Some people feel that your ideas should be judged on their own merit, not given more or less weight based on your job title. More succinctly: how is job title relevant? – Dan C Sep 27 '12 at 5:08
  • Relevance arise, IMO, when academic networking is attempted. With whom and how approach is to be made, etc. – Noble P. Abraham Sep 27 '12 at 17:19

I suspect to some extent it has to do with the wide range of available titles and honorifics out there. Moreover, this can lead to rather strange credits, such as the German system, where a title such as "Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.rer.nat. Dr.(h.c.) Dr.(h.c.) Dr.(h.c.)" is not as uncommon as it should be.

Keeping to names makes things more egalitarian. If needed, you can always look up a person's credentials. (It also helps to keep things consistent, and easier to track authors and cite papers, if you don't have to deal with titles as well!)

  • Titles change over time as well, which would further add to the difficulty in tracking titled vs untitled citations. – drfrogsplat Jan 9 '14 at 4:29

I don't see this as a specific issue about titles, but rather a broader issue about how much information to provide about authors. In principle, there's an enormous amount one could say: for example, one could append complete CVs to the end of each published paper. Clearly, it's important to draw the line somewhere. The journals I'm familiar with typically do this by focusing on two issues: identifying authors unambiguously (people sometimes share the same name, but almost never the same name and department), and providing contact information. Titles and credentials bring up the question of status, and that's tricky because there are many different signs of status. Journals occasionally designate status awarded by the publisher (e.g., IEEE fellows or members of the US National Academy of Sciences), but it can be tricky to go much broader than that, since you need a good explanation of why you are publicly recognizing one person's particular type of status and not another's.

One option I've occasionally seen is to include a brief bio (typically one paragraph) of each author at the end of the paper. This is a convenient way to learn more about the authors, and it lets them each highlight whatever information they think is appropriate.

  • 1
    Thank you so much for your inputs. Esp. the brief bio part is new to me. – Noble P. Abraham Sep 27 '12 at 17:13

My experience is that professional fields (e.g., engineering and medicine) title are used more frequently in everyday life and are included in publications (e.g., New England Journal of Medicine and IEEE) while in non-professional fields (e.g., math and biology) titles are used less frequently and not included in publications (e.g., Ann Math and Cell).

  • The question is also valid for Engineering authors, They can not keep the title on publication. – ShadowWarrior Sep 26 '12 at 20:41

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