Collaboration and Co-authorship
Jenny Delasalle (theory) & David Wright
(practice)
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What do we mean “Collaboration”?
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•
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Interdisciplinary?
International / National / Institutional
Between individuals, groups, institutions, sectors, etc…
All research is collaborative?
• Collaboration can lead to co-authorship
• Not all co-authorship is collaboration: collaboration is between
equals?
• We will focus on collaboration as an individual, ECR
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Why try collaboration?
1. Cost benefit of pooling resources/equipment & training
2. It’s easy to do:
1. Travel is relatively easy & cheap
2. Communication tools are advancing: easier & faster
3. Need for specialisation in science: “experimentalists tend to
collaborate more than theoreticians”
4. Political/external drivers - eg creating a joined-up Europe
• Helps to achieve “impact” - Crossing disciplines & sectors, eg
academic & industry or government
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Considering collaboration
Benefits
Costs
Pooling resources, knowledge, skills,
techniques, eg a writing partnership
could play to different skills.
Time to find common language and
build relationships.
Need admin procedures?
Gaining knowledge, etc
Is it equal?
New insights: inspiration
Differences of opinion inevitable!
Overcome intellectual isolation
Cost of travel
Access a wider network of contacts
Demands of keeping others informed
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US authorship trends
Science field
Astronomy
Medical sciences
Biological sciences
Physics
Average for all 'science'
fields
Chemistry
Agricultural sciences
Geosciences
Engineering
Other life sciences
Psychology
Computer sciences
Mathematics
Social sciences
Average no. of authors
per journal article in
2008
5.9
5.6
5.3
5.3
Percentage change
1988 to 2008
136
56
61
61
4.7
52
4.3
4.3
4.0
3.8
3.2
3.2
3.0
2.0
1.9
39
59
67
52
60
60
58
33
36
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From the LSE Handbook “Impact of Social
Sciences”.
Average number of co-authors by discipline across five social science
disciplines in the Impacts Project Database
Senior
Subject
Lecturer
Professor
Lecturer
Geography
1.9
1.5
2.4
Economics
1.3
1.6
1.6
Sociology
0.8
1.1
1.6
Political
Science
0.5
1.0
0.9
Law
0.3
0.6
0.6
Overall
Average
1.0
1.2
1.4
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The Finch report, 2012
• “The rise in the no. of articles published by UK authors has not
been as fast as in the very high-growth countries such as India
and Brazil…”
• “UK researchers are also more likely than those in almost any
other major research nation to collaborate with colleagues
overseas: almost half (46%) of the articles published by UK
authors in 2010 included a non-UK author.”
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Co-authorship: Advantages
• Authors’ experience & contacts with editors & reviewers are
shared.
• Writing strengths/weaknesses are evened out.
• Additional discipline/motivation to not let others down.
• “Internal refereeing”: quality higher.
• Speed: Round the clock working as colleagues in the US or
Australia work whilst you sleep!
• Higher number of citations!
• International interest?
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Collaboration and co-authorship practice
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
– Practices vary: peer review in the Arts can take upwards
of 6 months.
Building a research partnership or a publication strategy?!
Agreement on what to publish & where
Agreement on percentage contributions/word counts and
deadlines: balance of skills and knowledge.
Allow time!
How are you going to respond to peer review comments?
Acknowledging contributions: variety of practice
Negotiation skills!
• Co-authorship and the REF
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Vancouver protocols for co-authorship
Authorship credit should be based on all of these:
(1) substantial contributions to conception and design,
acquisition of data, or analysis of and interpretation of data;
(2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important
intellectual content;
(3) final approval of the version to be published.
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Finding a co-author
• Might begin with finding a collaborator, or:
• Are your findings significant enough for a whole paper?
– Is there someone whose work relates to yours, where you
have both researched separately but could write up your
findings together?
• Where to look:
– Institutional repositories like WRAP
– Profile pages on department websites
– Tools like Research Match
– Attend events & talk to people!
• How are you going to respond to invitations from others?
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Vitae Tips on authorship http://www.vitae.ac.uk/CMS/files/upload/P
GR_Tips_authorship_72.pdf
• Discuss authorship from the beginning of any project
• Be prepared for things to change: more people may be involved &
therefore named.
• Who will be first author? Joint first authorship? Corresponding
author? Last named author as head of research group?
• Be realistic about your contribution
• Keep in touch after you have moved on
• Consider acknowledgements
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Further reading, from the LSE…
Versions toolkit:
http://www2.lse.ac.uk/library/versions/VERSIONS_Toolkit_v1_final.pdf
… contains advice on journal article version names.
LSE guide to impact in soc sciences http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/the-handbook/
…includes evidence that co-authorship leads to higher no.s of citations,
in Chapter 4
and advice on external partnerships, in Chapter 5
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Copyright & Author agreements: Useful
links
• JISC Model “Licence to Publish” (if http://copyrighttoolbox.surf.nl/copyrighttoolbox/autho
rs/licence/
• Creative Commons (if publishing online yourself )http://creativecommons.org/licenses/
• Publisher Agreements on SherpaRomeo http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/
• Indemnity clauses: nothing the author has written is
libellous / infringes IPR / is contempt of court.
• The law is NOT Yes/no, black/white!!!
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Collaboration and Co-authorship Jenny Delasalle (theory) & David Wright (practice)