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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Authorship inflation and author gender in pulmonology research (Blake Umberham, et al | October 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on July 12, 2019
 

Abstract

Introduction
Honorary authorship and equal gender representation are two pressing matters in scientific research. Honorary authorship is the inclusion of authors who do not meet the criteria established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines. The inclusion of honorary authors in the medical literature has led to an increase of the number of authors on studies and a decrease in single author studies in various fields.

Methods
Our primary objective was to assess authorship trends in two major pulmonology journals (selected on the basis of Google Scholar rankings): Thorax and American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. We reviewed all articles published in both journals in the years 1994, 2004, and 2014 using Web of Science and extracted data such as number of authors and gender of the first and last authors.

Results
The total number of authors steadily increased from 1994 to 2014. The median number of authors grew from about four in 1994 to nearly seven in 2014, which is approximately a 75% increase. When we compiled all the data, we found the percentage of female authors from both journals had increased from 17% to 29.9% during the study period.

Discussion
We found an increase in the average number of authors on pulmonology publications between 1994 and 2014 as well as an increase in the number of females with a lead or main author position. This may be due to a variety of factors, such as increased team science. However, our data in conjunction with data from other areas of medicine, indicate that honorary authorship may be contributing to the trends we identified.

Umberham, B., et al. (2018). “Authorship inflation and author gender in pulmonology research.” bioRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/446385
Publisher (Open Access): https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/446385v1.full

Guest Post — Open Research in Practice: Moving from Why to How? – Scholarly Kitchen (Fiona Murphy, et al | June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 11, 2019
 

Today’s research knowledge can be harvested and data analyzed faster than has been possible in all previous generations combined. As a result, Open Research practices and outputs face a number of tensions between initial intentions and unforeseen consequences. For example, the FAIR Data Principles propose that research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable — but nothing has prepared us for the use and misuse of personal data. Even if they start out ethically approved and safe in the researcher’s toolkit, they can later be sold to a third party in exchange for analytical services, enabling machines to identify disease states from a picture, classify your intelligence and demographic profile in four “likes” or less, or traffic organs and direct market to those that need them on social media.

And so our questions about Open Research are also changing — from “why” to “how” — amidst growing awareness that the required skill sets, both technical and social, are not yet part of the standard training programs for researchers. Consider, for example, the questions and challenges that early career researchers face as they critique a distinguished professor’s work while conducting an open peer review. How do they balance the need for research integrity and rigorous review without career-ending consequences? How do we protect reviewers who review in good faith only to be raked through the coals on social media, while the perpetrators are funded and their work is published.

So, if you actually want to practice Open Research, how do you learn about it? How do you balance effort with effect? How do you discover and validate the standards that are being adopted by your communities?

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Authorship – NHMRC Good Practice Guide (June 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 10, 2019
 

A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Contents

1. Introduction 1
2. Authorship criteria 1
2.1 What is a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution? 1
2.2 What does it mean to be accountable for the research output? 2
3. Responsibilities of institutions 2
3.1 Design and promote institutional policies 2
3.2 Provide training for researchers 3
4. Responsibilities of researchers 3
4.1 Ensure appropriate and fair attribution of authorship 3
4.2 Formalise authorship arrangements 4
4.3 Acknowledge contributions other than authorship 4
4.4 Be accountable for the research output 4
4.5 Approve research output 5
4.6 Engage in relevant training 5
5. Resolution of disputes 5
6. Breaches of the Code 6
7. Definitions 6
Additional resources

Access the Good Practice Guide

Farewell authors, hello contributors – Nature (Alex Holcombe | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on July 10, 2019
 

More disciplines must embrace a system of academic credit that rewards a greater range of roles more specifically, says Alex Holcombe.

We graduate students flocked to our department’s ‘sherry hour’ — it meant free drinks. As I fished around in the beer bucket, a friendly professor struck up a conversation. He needed a programmer, and my skills fit the bill. He offered to pay. I could have used the money, but knew that dollars wouldn’t get me a professorship. For that, what I needed was authorship.

But the professor told me that “just programming” did not merit authorship. According to the journals in our field, becoming an author required participation in the conception or design of the experiment, the data analysis and interpretation, and the writing. These roles were already spoken for. So, the next day, I was back in my adviser’s lab, conducting experiments and writing them up — doing what I had to do to get my name on papers. Twenty years on, to my chagrin, I resemble that professor from sherry hour. I’m too busy to do everything myself, so I’m looking for someone who can program.

The shortage of researchers with specialized skills, such as programming, should ease if more journal publishers adopt a better way to document who does what in research: a function provided by the machine-readable classification system CRediT (the Contributor Roles Taxonomy). Launched in 2014, CRediT allows contributors to report the specific tasks (such as data collection or statistics) they performed in a paper’s production. We need to make this routine across most of the sciences.

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