Article

The Big Picture(s) in Deciding Authorship Order

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Abstract

Comments on M. A. Fine and L. A. Kurdek's (see record 1994-11404-001) discussion of authorship credit in faculty–student collaborations. B. Thompson disagrees with their position that an inexact determination of authorship credit, resolved in the student's favor, necessarily causes problems and that point systems could be used to evaluate the magnitude of contributions to scholarship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... We focus on psychology because guidelines regarding authorship order do not unequivocally apply to all academic domains (e.g., Einav and Yariv, 2006). Of course, we don't deny that there are deviations from this norm within psychology, and that some people rightfully or wrongfully question the norm altogether (e.g., Fine and Kurdek, 1993;Thompson, 1994). However, the norm to base authorship order on contribution exists and affects decisions about bylines of articles. ...
... There is no reason to doubt that academics in psychology consider the APA guideline when determining authorship orders. However, besides objective contribution, a range of other factors may subtly influence authorship orders (e.g., Fine and Kurdek, 1993;Thompson, 1994). ...
... It does not seem fair that academics with middle initials could have an advantage over academics without middle initials. We thus hope that our findings raise further discussions about the habits and fairness of measuring performance in academia (e.g., Fine and Kurdek, 1993;Thompson, 1994). ...
Article
Middle name initials are often used by people in contexts where intellectual performance matters. Given this association, middle initials in people's names indicate intellectual capacity and performance (Van Tilburg and Igou, 2014). In the current research, we examined whether middle initials are associated with a typical academic indicator of intellectual performance: authorship order of journal articles. In psychology, authorship early in the author list of an article should correspond with greater contribution to this intellectual endeavor compared to authorship appearing later in the author list. Given that middle initials indicate intellectual capacity and performance, we investigated whether there would be a positive relationship between middle initials in author names and early (vs. late) appearance of names in author lists of academic journal articles in psychology. In two studies, we examined the relationship between amount of authors' middle initials and authorship order. Study 1 used a sample of 678 articles from social psychology journals published in the years 2006 and 2007. Study 2 used a sample of 696 articles from journals of multiple sub-disciplines in psychology published in the years from 1970 to 2013. Middle initials in author names were overrepresented early (vs. late) in author lists. We discuss implications of our findings for academic decisions on authorship orders, potential avenues of further investigation, and applications.
... (Thompson 1994) Manuscript preparation and submission for publication can be complicated by ethical issues. Many authors may not be aware of these ethical conundrums, let alone have a plan for addressing them. ...
... last authors typically are the individuals that made the greatest contributions to the project (Laflin et al. 2005). Many journals require a listing of each author's contribution to thesufficient knowledge and skills to conduct a project and prepare a manuscript of publishable quality without considerable input from their supervisor (Shadish 1994).Thompson (1994)recommends that when there is any question as to who made the primary contribution, the student should receive higher authorship. His recommendation helps to protect the person who has less power in the situation. Often students are involved in studies that are not based on their own master's or doctoral research, but rather are connecte ...
... His recommendation helps to protect the person who has less power in the situation. Often students are involved in studies that are not based on their own master's or doctoral research, but rather are connected to an existing research program, such as case examples 1 and 2. In those situations, some authors contend that their involvement should be creative and intellectual in order to warrant authorship; otherwise, student input can be credited in an acknowledgement section (Fine and Kurdek 1993;Holaday and Yost 1995;Thompson 1994). Negotiating authorship is an important step that should begin in the initial stages of a project. ...
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Publication of original research, clinical experiences, and critical reviews of literature are vital to the growth of the genetic counseling field, delivery of genetic counseling services, and professional development of genetic counselors. Busy clinical schedules, lack of time and funding, and training that emphasizes clinical skills over research skills may make it difficult for new genetic counselors to turn their thesis projects into publications. This paper summarizes and elaborates upon a presentation aimed at de-mystifying the publishing process given at the 2008 National Society of Genetic Counselors Annual Education Conference. Specific topics include familiarizing prospective authors, particularly genetic counseling students, with the basics of the publication process and related ethical considerations. Former students' experiences with publishing master's theses also are described in hopes of encouraging new genetic counselors to submit for publication papers based on their thesis projects.
... It is documented that smooth and positive functioning within the team addresses complex problems that collaborators may come across (Leibowitz et al., 2014;McGinn et al., 2005), among them mainly issues related to authorship. Indeed, research teams need to negotiate authorship before they start collaborative writing tasks to maintain trust and respectful relationships (McGinn et al., 2005;Spiegel & Keith-Spiegel, 1970;Thompson, 1994). In light of this claim, we argue that the complex dynamics created within collaborative research teams should not be viewed by academics as a barrier to initiating group research projects. ...
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The world is currently experiencing the unimaginable impact of a pandemic. From one day to the other, academics at the University of Malta were forced to shift to working remotely as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Maltese islands. This paper uncovers the lived shared experiences of eight female academics (authors of this paper) who, despite the perceived challenges, considered it also as an opportunity to explore how to conduct research together through online collaboration. This paper thus presents a qualitative study grounded in a narrative inquiry of this collective experience. The collaborative work is informed by: social learning theories influenced by Vygostky; elements from feminist thinking; and literature on collaborative research, online collaboration and academic identity. Our recorded views, as participant-researchers and part of the narrative inquiry, focus on the birth and growth of what we now refer to as the 'Early Childhood and Primary Education (ECPE) research team'. A thematic analysis of the accounts on our experiences have led to the development of a six-tier framework, the 'SKRIPT' framework, for collaborative work in academia. The progressive six concepts identified refer to trust, philosophy, identity, relationships, knowledge and skills. They underpin the inception and course of our online collaborative research experience. The shared stories from which the framework emerged, aim to inspire and encourage other academics to be part of research teams and share their 'SKRIPT' of collaborative experiences within online spaces and beyond. Implications for future research are discussed.
... In contrast, Thompson (1994) points out that authorship is not subject to meticulous scrutiny. As a general rule, he suggests having the student assume first authorship if his or her contribution is equal. ...
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This study examines decisions by social work educators about authorship order and educators' views on other authorship issues. Results indicate the writing of the manuscript was viewed as the most important task in making decisions about authorship order. The majority believed that a written agreement is helpful before beginning research to decide authorship order. Gender and prior authorship experience were found to be significantly related to some social work educators' beliefs. © Copyright 2005 Council on Social Work Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Determining authorship credit and order in collaborative research projects can be difficult, can introduce or increase conflict in the research environment, and can exacerbate existing inequalities and affect power dynamics between team members. As a result, much disciplinary scholarship has been written to develop potential guidelines for authorship credit and order. However, the collaborative interdisciplinary nature of much SoTL work, along with the increasing focus of SoTL on students as co-inquirers into SoTL research, creates unique issues and challenges in ethically assigning authorship credit on SoTL projects. Informed by seminal disciplinary papers on authorship issues and best practices in undergraduate research, this paper proposes a new model to identify the relative contributions of student collaborators and explicitly incorporate a process-focused approach to collaborative faculty-student SoTL projects.
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