The nature of co-authorship: a note on recognition sharing and scientific argumentation

Synthese 191 (1):97-108 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Co-authorship of papers is very common in most areas of science, and it has increased as the complexity of research has strengthened the need for scientific collaboration. But the fact that papers have more than an author tends to complicate the attribution of merit to individual scientists. I argue that collaboration does not necessarily entail co-authorship, but that in many cases the latter is an option that individual authors might not choose, at least in principle: each author might publish in a separate way her own contribution to the collaborative project in which she has taken part, or papers could explicitly state what the contribution of each individual author has been. I ask, hence, why it is that scientists prefer to ‘pool’ their contributions instead of keeping them separate, if what they pursue in their professional careers is individual recognition. My answer is based on the view of the scientific paper as a piece of argumentation, following an inferentialist approach to scientific knowledge. A few empirical predictions from the model presented here are suggested in the conclusions.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,429

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

9 (#929,158)

6 months
1 (#416,470)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jesus Pedro Zamora Bonilla
National Distance Education University

Citations of this work

Belief Attribution as Indirect Communication.Christopher Gauker - 2021 - In Ladislav Koreň, Hans Bernhard Schmid, Preston Stovall & Leo Townsend (eds.), Groups, Norms and Practices: Essays on Inferentialism and Collective Intentionality. Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 173-187.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Making It Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.
The Epistemic Significance of Collaborative Research.K. Brad Wray - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):150-168.
A Guide to Social Epistemology.Alvin I. Goldman - 2010 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press.

View all 11 references / Add more references