Elise Smith, Bryn Williams-Jones, Zubin Master, Vincent Larivière, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Adèle Paul-Hus, Min Shi & David B. Resnik
Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (4):1967-1993 (2020)
AbstractScientific authorship serves to identify and acknowledge individuals who “contribute significantly” to published research. However, specific authorship norms and practices often differ within and across disciplines, labs, and cultures. As a consequence, authorship disagreements are commonplace in team research. This study aims to better understand the prevalence of authorship disagreements, those factors that may lead to disagreements, as well as the extent and nature of resulting misbehavior. Methods include an international online survey of researchers who had published from 2011 to 2015. Of the 6673 who completed the main questions pertaining to authorship disagreement and misbehavior, nearly half reported disagreements regarding authorship naming; and discipline, rank, and gender had significant effects on disagreement rates. Paradoxically, researchers in multidisciplinary teams that typically reflect a range of norms and values, were less likely to have faced disagreements regarding authorship. Respondents reported having witnessed a wide range of misbehavior including: instances of hostility, undermining of a colleague’s work during meetings/talks, cutting corners on research, sabotaging a colleague’s research, or producing fraudulent work to be more competitive. These findings suggest that authorship disputes may contribute to an unhealthy competitive dynamic that can undermine researchers’ wellbeing, team cohesion, and scientific integrity.
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Citations of this work
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Authorship Not Taught and Not Caught in Undergraduate Research Experiences at a Research University.Lauren E. Abbott, Amy Andes, Aneri C. Pattani & Patricia Ann Mabrouk - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (5):2555-2599.
Questionable Research Practices and Misconduct Among Norwegian Researchers.Matthias Kaiser, Laura Drivdal, Johs Hjellbrekke, Helene Ingierd & Ole Bjørn Rekdal - 2022 - Science and Engineering Ethics 28 (1):1-31.
Taiwanese Researchers’ Perceptions of Questionable Authorship Practices: An Exploratory Study.Sophia Jui-An Pan & Chien Chou - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (3):1499-1530.
How to Handle Co-authorship When Not Everyone’s Research Contributions Make It into the Paper.William Bülow, Zubin Master & Gert Helgesson - 2021 - Science and Engineering Ethics 27 (2):1-11.
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