ⓡ Random Order of Author Names


The American Economic Association permits the publication of joint papers in random order of coauthors with the symbol ⓡ between author names.  The use of ⓡ signals to the reader that the authors' names have been randomized using a uniform distribution. For example, Byron and Austen (2000) has a very different meaning from Byron ⓡ Austen (2000).  If random order rather than alphabetical order were the norm, Austen and Byron (2000) would also have a very different meaning from Austen ⓡ Byron (2000), and in principle would have a signaling power analogous to Byron and Austen (2000).

Authors opting to publish using random author order must submit a signed Random Author Order Consent Form. This form will be included in the acceptance materials sent to the corresponding author, who will be responsible for collecting the signed form from each coauthor.  The symbol ⓡ will appear on the title page, the running head, the table of contents, and the cover. Citations to such papers will respect the same convention.

Citation Guidelines

Papers published in random order will be cited the way they were published. Examples follow.

Papers with two authors:

Ray, Debraj ⓡ Arthur Robson. 2018. "Certified Random: A New Order for Coauthorship." American Economic Review 108 (2): 489–520.

Papers with three or more authors:

Dworczak, Piotr ⓡ Scott Duke Kominers ⓡ Mohammad Akbarpour. 2018. "Redistribution through Markets." Unpublished.

If the equivalent of et al. must be used when citing a work in the main text, then the following convention will be adopted:

Dworczak ⓡ al. (2018)

In oral citations, we suggest the phonetic use of the letter "r" instead of "and." With three-author papers, one could refer to "Dworczak, Kominers r Akbarpour" or (again if et al. is insisted on), "Dworczak r al."

Typesetting Guidelines

  1. LaTeX. The symbol is generated by the simple command \textcircled{r}.
  2. BibTeX (for citing papers in random order). Use the well-known econ style file, which is available in any current distribution of TeX (such as MacTeX or TeX Live), or separately here. The documentation provides new cite commands for papers written in random order of authors, generating the ⓡ symbol both within the text and in the references.

Want to Randomize?

The AEA provides an Author Randomization Tool that may be used to generate a random author order sequence.  The results will be archived so that you and your coauthors have a record of the randomization and its results.