What is hyperauthorship?


Historically, authorship of a journal article referred to those who contributed to the writing of the document.  More recently (and especially in the sciences because of the nature of the subject) authorship attribution is extended to a larger number of people who have contributed to the research behind the article.  Hyperauthorship refers to articles with more than 50 authors.  This 2015 physics paper lists over 5,000 authors.

It may be that there are over 50 people making a legitimate contribution to a paper, but in the context of citation metrics where researchers’ success is measured by the number of times a publication in their name has been cited, it is easy to see the potential for gaming the system.

This reminded me of Goodhart’s law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

Contributorship and attributions models

Project CRediT arose from a workshop involving stakeholders interested in exploring contributorship and attribution models, and a working group developed a controlled vocabulary of roles that could be used to describe typical research “contributions” – here is the draft taxonomy.

PLOS Journals have their own taxonomy, and ORCID now supports the display of contributorship open badges on ORCID records.

Contributorship badges - image credit http://orcid.org/blog/2015/08/11/contributor-recognition-update-orcid-project-credit-and-contributorship-badges

Contributorship badges – image credit ORCID blog (Laura Paglione)

Further reading

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: So long, Sunderland – and some data-related unfinished business | Laura's Dark Archive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s