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Academic co-authorship is a risky game

Lazebnik, Teddy; Beck, Stephan; Shami, Labib; (2023) Academic co-authorship is a risky game. Scientometrics , 128 , Article 12. 10.1007/s11192-023-04843-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Conducting a project with multiple participants is a complex task that involves multiple social, economic, and psychological interactions. Conducting academic research in general and the process of writing an academic manuscript, in particular, is notorious for being challenging to successfully navigate due to the current form of collaboration dynamics common in academia. In this study, we propose a game-theory-based model for a co-authorship writing project in which authors are allowed to raise an ultimatum, blocking the publishment of the manuscript if they do not get more credit for the work. Using the proposed model, we explore the influence of the contribution and utility of publishing the manuscript on the rate one or more authors would gain from raising an ultimatum. Similarly, we show that the project’s duration and the current state have a major impact on this rate, as well as the number of authors. In addition, we examine common student-advisor and colleague-colleague co-authorships scenarios. Our model reveals disturbing results and demonstrates that the current, broadly accepted, academic practices for collaborations are designed in a way that stimulates authors to raise an ultimatum and stopped only by their integrity and not by a systematic design.

Type: Article
Title: Academic co-authorship is a risky game
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11192-023-04843-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-023-04843-x
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Coauthorship, Collaboration, Academic writing, Agent-based simulation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Cancer Bio
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10184317
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