Monday, September 26, 2005

Titling those you cite

At what point did that stop? That is, in Coase (1937) when he talks about Joan Robinson he'll say things like "Mrs. Robinson" this or that, or he'll refer to Professor so and so. Now you would never see that in an academic article. You'd see the full name at first, and then just the last name. In articles from, say, the 1970s, you never see that. So when in the interval [1937,1970] did this practice change? Is it in the early 1960s as the first generation of GI Bill students become professors and so academia is no longer such a small club, taking people only from a certain social class?

This question is easily resolvable if I took the four minute walk to the journals in the library, but I'm currently lazy.


Blogger Tom Bozzo said...

So what's the answer?

The oldest item on my office bookshelf is Baumol's Economic Theory and Operations Analysis (1961), which makes very few references to anyone in the text, though where it does, it seems to follow the modern convention. I vaguely recall from grad school a few techy articles from the fifties I'd seen leaned modern, as well. I'd expect the transition date varies by journal, with some straggling monographs by the old-fashioned.

Outside of academic publishing, traditional means of address remain in use. For postal rate case testimony, for instance, the style approach is to kill opponents with kindness, referring to academics with professorial titles as "Professor," other Ph.D.-holding experts as "Dr.," and everyone else as "Mr."/"Ms."

3:17 PM  
Blogger Isaac said...

I believe a survey of AER through the years will happen at some point in the next 10 hours. Hold your breath!

2:21 PM  

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