Numeric v Alpha Order in String Cites

Here’s a common practice that irritates me: ordering the references in a string of citations in a scientific study alphabetically…

… as has been well established in the literature (Akbar 2006; Foo 1965; Gnu 1998).

rather than numerically…

… as has been well established in the literature (Foo 1965; Gnu 1998; Akbar 2006).

Why the %@#*$~ does anybody do that?!?

Numeric ordering conveys information: the temporal order in which works were published.  Alphabetical order conveys nothing.  Or am I missing something.  Please education me.

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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