Authorship decision making: An empirical investigation

Ethics and Behavior 17 (2):95 – 115 (2007)
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This empirical study concerns the authorship credit decision-making processes and outcomes that occur among coauthors in cases of multiauthored publications. The 2002 American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code offers standards for determining authorship order; however, little is known about how these decisions are made in actual practice. Results from a survey of 109 randomly selected authors indicated that most authors were satisfied with the decision-making process and outcome with few disagreements. Participants reported cases of both undeserved authorship being given and omission of deserving contributors' names as coauthors. Some factors associated with authorship decisions included "sense of loyalty or obligation," "publish or perish pressures," and "power differentials." Authors who used APA standards were significantly more satisfied with both the process and outcome of authorship credit decisions.



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