Names of Experts Should Almost Always be Confined to the Footnotes to Avoid Wasting the Reader’s Time.
When it is the case that some researchers, for example, John Smith, Jane Jones, and Joe Bloggs have said that X is true, it is natural to write just that. After all, it does matter which researcher have said what, especially to experts in the subject.
But, especially if the article or book is for the layman, those names should be in the footnotes. The text should say simply, “Some researchers have said X is the case” together with the number of the footnote. This is because to the layman John Smith, Jane Jones, and Joe Bloggs mean nothing, and even if he commits them to memory, they will eventually be forgotten.
Also, it doesn’t do the layman any good to know these names.
It is a waste of time, and a useless extra cognitive load to read those names. It distracts from the meaning of the statement.
Wikipedia is guilty of this. So is Steven Pinker. So are most writers.