Why more technicians deserve to be on author lists
Imagine how you’d feel if you worked hard on something, and then didn’t get any credit for it. Or worse, someone else gets the credit. Perhaps the lack of recognition only briefly annoys you. But what if it actually causes you to miss out on career opportunities? And when people look back in 50 years’ time, maybe they’ll think people like you didn’t exist – as though all your work occurred without any human intervention. You’ve been erased from history.
Research projects are often only possible because of the involvement of technicians, statisticians, cultural advisers or consumers/community members, but they often are not acknowledged in the research outputs. But they should be. We have included links to 11 related items.
Arguably, a list of names at the top of an article doesn’t go far enough to recognise individual contributions. While the exact order of names in this list is often delicately negotiated based on perceived importance, it tells the reader little or nothing about what each person actually did.
Fortunately, more journals now allow (or require) author contribution statements to accompany the list of names. Many publications recommend using the contributor roles taxonomy, or Credit: a list of 14 roles that covers pretty much every kind of useful work you can do on a research project, including conceptualisation, providing resources, analysis and data curation.