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.