Et al. , rarely spelled out et alii ( masculine ), et aliae ( feminine ) or et alia ( neuter ), is Latin and corresponds to the German abbreviation “u. a. ”(=“ and others ”). It is mainly used for bibliographical and legal information when not all persons involved ( authors , plaintiffs , defendants ) should, want or can be named.
Usually, all authors are written out in a bibliography , but only the first authors (without first names) and the year ( author-year citation , also known as 'Harvard citation') in the source after the quotation or the content-related claim . Here, up to two authors are usually written out, but from three authors only the first with the addition et al. In Germany, three authors are often still advertised, but if there are four or more authors, only the first author with the addition et al . called. The order of the authors is that used in the work itself, not an alphabetical one. An article with more than three authors can, for example, be referred to in the text as “Müller et al. 1999 ”. In scientific texts, however, all authors must always be named in the bibliography . However, sometimes there are works with a large number of authors (e.g. in publications on the human genome ), then in the bibliography after the twelfth author an et al. to be used.
The masculine form is used correctly in groups of men and groups of men and women, while the feminine form is only correct if the others are exclusively female. The neuter ( plural ) et alia would only be used grammatically correct when enumerating inanimate or genderless objects, but it is used as a gender-neutral alternative.
Et al. is also the abbreviation for et alteri , “and the other” (from a total of two groups), while et alii is the plural form of the masculine of et alius : “and others” (generally in the sense of several). Et alteri does not seem to make sense for specifying other authors .
The abbreviation et al. misinterpreted in the list of authors of scientific publications as et alumni (“and other graduates”, analogously “and colleagues”).
et cetera (etc. , & c.) - "and so on"; literally: "and the rest"
- etc. pp. (et cetera, perge, perge) - "and so on, and so on"
- et sequens - "and following / following / following"
- Alexander Adam: A compendious dictionary of the Latin tongue: for the use of public seminaries and of private students . T. Cadell & W. Davies, London 1805 ( full text in the Google book search).