A Plan to End 'Unfair' Credit

by SRA International on Friday, February 24, 2017

Excerpt from original article, "A Plan to End 'Unfair' Credit," posted on Inside Higher Ed, February 24, 2017.


Scholars who publish research with hundreds of co-authors should receive no more than one-third of the current credit they get for such papers, according to a proposed formula designed to eradicate “gift authorship."

Under the proposal, those who contribute to co-authored papers would receive only a fraction of a research credit for their contribution, instead of the full authorship credit that they now enjoy -- when universities or government agencies use counts of papers as part of a review process.

The plan has been put forward by Louis de Mesnard, professor of economics at the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC), amid growing concern over the limited contribution of some researchers on papers with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of co-authors.

With many papers now citing at least 1,000 authors – the current record stands at 5,154 for a 2015 paper published by the team at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) – critics say that researchers gain undue credit for minimal input into a project, thus making it impossible for universities to recognize and reward true scientific talent.

>> Continue to full article