A Descriptive Analysis of Authorship Within Medical Journals, 1995–2005
ABSTRACT The emphasis on publications for promotion in academic medicine would lead one to the theory that authorship numbers would increase proportionally with this emphasis. To investigate authorship trends across a number of periodicals, we performed a descriptive study comparing two full years of published articles spaced ten years apart from five medical journals.
Physician reviewers each reviewed all articles of one medical journal for the 1995 and 2005 publication years. Reviewed journals included Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), Annals of Emergency Medicine (AnnEM), Annals of Internal Medicine (AIM), Journal of Trauma (JT), and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Data collected for each article were number of authors, ordinal number of the corresponding author, type of study described, whether the described study was a multicenter trial, whether authorship listed included a "study group," and whether any author was also an editor of the journal.
A total of 2927 articles were published in the five journals in 1995, and of these, 1401 (47.9%) were analyzed after the exclusion criteria had been applied; for 2005 a total of 3630 articles were published and of these, 1351 (37.2%) were included in the analysis. Across all five journals the mean number of authors per article increased from 4.66 to 5.73 between 1995 and 2005 (P < 0.0001), and four of the five journals individually had statistically significant increases in the number of authors per article. More articles had a journal editor as an author in 2005 (increased from 7.8% to 11.0%, P = 0.004), though no single journal had a statistically significant increase.
We describe a trend of increasing mean authors, editorial authorship, study groups, and multicenter trials over time with fewer solo authors now publishing original research or case reports. The academic medical community must pursue an authorship requirement consensus to assure that a standard of contribution for all authors on a given paper is met.
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ABSTRACT: There is abundant evidence that research collaboration has become the norm in every field of scientific and technical research. We provide a critical overview of the literature on research collaboration, focusing particularly on individual-level collaborations among university researchers, but we also give attention to university researchers’ collaborations with researchers in other sectors, including industry. We consider collaborations aimed chiefly at expanding the base of knowledge (knowledge-focused collaborations) as well as ones focused on production of economic value and wealth (property-focused collaborations), the latter including most academic entrepreneurship research collaborations. To help organize our review we develop a framework for analysis, one that considers attributes of collaborators, collaborative process and organization characteristics as the affect collaboration choices and outcomes. In addition, we develop and use a “Propositional Table for Research Collaboration Literature,” presented as an “Appendix” to this study. We conclude with some suggestions for possible improvement in research on collaboration including: (1) more attention to multiple levels of analysis and the interactions among them; (2) more careful measurement of impacts as opposed to outputs; (3) more studies on ‘malpractice’ in collaboration, including exploitation; (4) increased attention to collaborators’ motives and the social psychology of collaborative teams.The Journal of Technology Transfer 02/2012; 38(1). DOI:10.1007/s10961-012-9281-8 · 1.18 Impact Factor
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