First, let's all enjoy the bliss of, count 'em, EIGHT authors who....
1D.S., A.B., M. Maroteaux, T.J., C.P.M., R.S., J.-A.G., and G.S. contributed equally to this work.
To make it extra hilarious please note that the first four are listed first authors and the last four are...listed last authors.
This is ridiculous. Going by the affiliations of the first four and the last four (and knowing a little something about the careers status of several of the last four) it looks very much like typical trainee-PI pairings in a multi-group collaboration. Consequently it would make considerably more sense to identify the four trainees and the four PIs as contributing equally compared with each other...but not across the trainee/PI divide.
But really, the discussion of the day is raised by a
troll communication to the blog.
As you know there are style guides for journals as to how previous studies are to be cited and how they are to be referred to in the text. One typical style guide might suggest that you use "As shown by Gun et al (2009), the PhysioWhimple nucleus is critical in...". You might also resort to the more conversational "Gun and colleagues demonstrated...".
Very good, right?
Now what about when the paper in question indicates co-equal contribution, eh? Then you should say "Genedog, Tideliar and colleagues showed....". Right? You should absolutely insist on including the name of the co-equal authors, should you not?
Especially if you are one of those who insists that this designation is meaningful...
h/t: a certain troll