N- Authors by the gross

After Times Higher Education reported a physics paper with 144 authors (this phenomenon will be familiar to EASE members), readers of THS reported even more gross examples (15 April, p29). “The HOPE study” published in the February 1996 issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology had a total of 718 authors. A seven-page article in the Lancet in 2002 listed more than 900 authors, but the one that takes the cake is a medical report by Topol, Califf, Van de Werf, Armstrong and their 972 co-authors, published in NEJM in 1993 – it has 100 times as many authors as pages. For this, the four named co-authors shared the 1993 Ig Nobel prize for Literature.