Names and Research Topics

I could make this piece heavily researched and exhaustive, but I’m not going to. This is just for fun, well, kind of.

One of my jobs in a lot of the projects I have worked on has been to put together the reference list. As you get deeper and deeper into a topic, the names of the researchers whose work you cite the most becomes more and more familiar. I’ve also met a number of these people as well now. My area of research has primarily been topics around TMS. So let’s look at some of the top articles from google scholar search of TMS (plus some more that I like):

Hollingshead (1998) x2

Hollingshead and Brandon (2003)

Brandon and Hollingshead (2004)

Lewis (2003)

Lewis (2004)

Lewis et al. (2005)

Lewis et al. (2007)

Lee et al. (2014)

Liang et al. (1995)

Moreland (1999)

Mell et al. (2014)

Ren and Argote (2012)

Obviously, we have a few people that are very prolific in the literature. But, we also have a range of letters in the alphabet that seem somewhat over-represented. Why are there so many important researchers in TMS whose names begin with an L? Lee, Lewis, Lange, Liang, Levine, etc. There are also several Ms. My last names is Kush so there’s a K if I want to throw my name in too and a Keller on Lewis et al (2007). Probably not actually weird if you look at common names, but has always been amusing to me.