“There hasn’t been any point during my career when recognition through authorship has not been essential,” says Martin Rolfs, a professor in experimental psychology at the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany. As a Ph.D. student and postdoc, a good publication record was crucial for proving himself capable of successful and independent research and securing that next academic job. Now as a principal investigator (PI), “I need publications to ensure the visibility of my lab, to attract good students, and to continue to secure funding.”
The importance for academics in building and maintaining an academic record cannot be overstated. For Early Career researchers, it can be a tough nut to crack, so that co-authoring with more established researchers can be essential. Authorship disputes happen too often and can have a toxic impact on the careers of early career researchers. This terrific Science interview offers some good advice to researchers. It is definitely worth including in your institution’s recommended reads. We have included links to 6 related items.
Norms and culture vary among research disciplines, countries, and even institutions, and early-career researchers need to make sure they are familiar with the rights and responsibilities that come with authorship in their field. But there are some commonalities in the issues surrounding authorship and the possible approaches to tackling them. To offer some guidance, Science Careers spoke with scientists in a range of fields and career stages about their practices and experiences. The responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.