This is a follow up to the question What is the point of listing 1000 authors for a single scientific paper?, I'm just curious.

Supposed I were the 900th co-author in a paper with 1000 authors. How should I list this paper in my CV? Obviously, I don't want to use 3 pages of my CV just to list the details of a single paper.


6 Answers 6


The quick answer might be to look up the CV of a CERN researcher...

From outside physics, when compiling institutional publication lists, I've occasionally dealt with a 100+ author entry (often a major report rather than a paper, but the same problem holds). As our motive for listing this is to note the local author(s), it's a similar situation to the CV.

In this case, I tend to do something like:

Able, J., Anderson, M., Archer, C., [and 78 others, including Smith, Q.] (2015) A very tedious paper, J. Irrep. Res. 243(54)


Able, J., Anderson, M., Archer, C., [et al, including Smith, Q.] (2015) A very tedious paper, J. Irrep. Res. 243(54)

where Q. Smith is the local author we care about. It's probably not a very theoretically sound citation style, but it seems to work!

  • 18
    Personally, I think the "and 78 others" approach for major reports, because the "et al" doesn't convey if there are lots of others co-authors or just a few more. Also, I've already seen it once or twice in a CV.
    – gaborous
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 16:48
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    @gaborous Yes, I think I'd agree it's a bit clearer that way. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 16:50
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    +1 for the citation of J. Irrep. Res. but note that it has been succeeded by Ann. Improb. Res. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 19:34
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    Do you know if it is possible to create citations in this format using bibtex or biblatex? Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 17:00
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    @rpax: Journal of Irreproducible Results is/was a parody of scientific journals, publishing articles similar in form to scientific papers but with humorous content. It still exists, but after a schism in 1994, many of the editorial staff of JIR left to form Annals of Improbable Research, which now focuses on reporting on real scientific research that happens to be funny. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 15:08

In addition to the approach given by @Andrew, many journals will now push you toward an "consortium" authorship listing that simplifies the CV statement. In this style, all but a few distinguished authors are listed as a consortium, whose members are specified elsewhere. Thus:

  • Frankenstein, V., Jeckyll, A., Moreau, D., and the Parahuman Genetics Consortium (1898), Sequence of the Morlock Genome, J. Mad Sci., 10(3). (Member of Parahuman Genetics Consortium)
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    What if you are not a permanent member of the PHGC? I.e., one of our students (Computer Science) did a two-month internship at CERN, and so became a coauthor of a physics paper, being involved in streamlining data analysis for an instrument.
    – vonbrand
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 23:29
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    @vonbrand When listing a consortium authorship, you are not referring to an external site, but to a list elsewhere (e.g., in the acknowledgements) that documents all the consortium members to be credited as authors. Thus, a person may be a consortium author on one paper, but not on another paper from the "same" consortium.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 1:34
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    How should one implement this in a CV?
    – Tommi
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 10:17
  • @TommiBrander Just like I showed in my example.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 12:20
  • So, you would not have the members listed elsewhere in a CV? That makes sense.
    – Tommi
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 13:41

What I do is use either Smith J et al. (2012), Journal of Awesomeness, 5(3) or The Whatever Consortium (2012), Journal of Awesomeness, 5(3).

My reasoning is that people understand that if it is on my CV then I am an author and the specific order/amount of authors is not important (given that I am not first or last). I have never run into any issues with this approach.

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    I think in some fields second author > third author > ... (In my field, they're all equal, thankfully!)
    – Kimball
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 20:57
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    @Kimball I am confident that in no field is there a noticeable difference in importance between author 90 and author 900. I would be surprised if last author matters for these massive consortia.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 21:37
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    In some fields, last author=the one who got the funding!
    – GEdgar
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 22:55
  • @GEdgar @Kimball if the author is sufficiently close to the start she could be listed by name, and the same goes for the end (e.g. Smith J, ..., Frost R (2012)).
    – Bitwise
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 23:59

I am a member of a big collaboration. The collaboration produces both "whole author list" papers for key results and "short author list" papers written by a subset of members.

In my CV I have a separate section for "selected full author list" publications, where I only list those to which I feel I have contributed directly.

A. Aardvark, et al [Super Science Collaboration, including P. Myself]. Observing stuff and taking names. J. Rad Sci. 12(98) 2016.

It feels dishonest to list them all.


I might consider using 'et int' instead of 'et al' if I were last author. A fictional names example would be:

Smith B, Jones A, Morgan R, Davies B, Jenkins P, Davies A, et int, Jones PP.

If Jones PP was whose CV it was


If there's no one researcher among the 1,000 who stands out, no specific PIs etc. and you are John Smith, then:

Insectophiliac Consortium, The [1,000 researchers including Smith, J.] (2015) Fruit Fly Buzz Demystified, J. Reckl. End. 123(45). Full author listing available at http://foo/bar.html

... maybe even without the comment about the full author listing.

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