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Three things:

  1. In recent years, we have seen a steep increase in the number of papers with authors in excess of 50, and a particularly notable spike in reports whose author counts exceed 1,000 and more. Here an example: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009Natur.460..990A
  2. Users can see them right within a SERP. But come one. 1000 authors in a SERP is too much.
  3. The users click/tap on the authors name to filter the results (added in the facets)

Hypothesis

  • Inline scroll areas. But they cause a myriad of usability issues, and should therefore generally be avoided
  • Modal Windows. They are a useful and effective interface widget, but the user need to click on an author to add it as a filter — weird interaction.

Ideas?

enter image description here

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    What's a user hoping to get out of the list of authors for a paper? Do they often click on author names to see what else they've published? Do some users look for a particular author on certain papers to weigh its credibility?
    – tonytrucco
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 16:07
  • @tonytrucco Good call. I'll add the information. Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 16:19
  • What does SERP mean? Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 18:07
  • @KenMohnkern Search Engine Result Page Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 18:13

2 Answers 2

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Based on the discussion we've had in the comments, I think for the expanded version ALL authors section, you should maybe handle it like a terminal window and do columns spanning the width of the window, cut it off after a certain point with a directive to the user to "see more authors" which could show the next set of authors (or go straight to a paginated solution) - and perhaps a directive to "see all authors", which would display all the authors in columns despite how large the list is. This way you allow the user to control the amount of information that flows to them.

Either way, I think columns of authors sorted alphabetically will be much easier to scan through visually for the user. Having the names displayed inline is too hard on the eye.

I'm providing a screenshot of my terminal window listing the contents of a large directory as it's very easy to scan what's there quickly.

terminal window

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    I like what you’re proposing @binky. So, I will display up to 10 (to be confirmed) authors before truncating but the threshold should instead be offset by an extra item so it only truncates 2+ values. The show more link displays only the next 10 authors and so on. I will not display any «Show Less» link. The Show More link will disappear when all the authors will be displayed. I will also inchange the appearance of the hidden content. I will do this with a gradient fade. Here the mockup: screencast.com/t/zlznjeslerca Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 14:26
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Wow, >1000 authors? This is just a guess, but how about listing the first four authors and adding "et. al."?

"Meteors and Mudslides: An Examination of Some Words that Begin with M." Heatherton, Joyce, James Fitzgilroy, Jackson Hsu, et. al.

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    I agree with this, it uses the MLA standard for multiple authors. owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/06 You could also have "et al" link and show the rest of the authors. I would still recommend that anyone caught in the "et al" portion be searchable etc, and if they're searched, then they would come up like maybe Heatherton, Joyce, James Fitzgilroy, Jackson Hsu, et. al. [Bernie Sanders] or something like that
    – binky
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 18:45
  • I don't think MLA really had 1000 authors in mind. Especially since the rule specifies that you list authors in the order they appear on the title page. His particular problem has authors being listed alphabetically, which defeats the purpose of MLA for multiple authors.
    – tonytrucco
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 18:51
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    In the collapse version, I list only the first 3 authors adding "et. al.". The challenge is in the expand version so I can give all the information to the user so he can take a better decision or add any author in his filters. Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 18:55
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    I like that solution, @binky. Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 19:28
  • @BenoitMeunier sorry - I misundertood the intent of your question... I tried to come up with a solution for the expansion part in my answer below... I hope it helps...
    – binky
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 22:52

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