Week 8: Authorship

So far everything I’ve written has one author only, me. I haven’t had the experience of co-authorship yet, so many the concepts from this week were relatively new to me.

I have fortunately had one of my teaching mentors relate her experience to me, in the hopes that I would avoid the pitfalls that she had to work through. She said that as a student she had co-written a paper with one of her committee members. She claims that the work was essentially 50/50 on the publication, but that after she had left her institution and the paper was finally published there was only 1 author listed. She was not that author. As a young faculty member at a small liberal arts school, she said that it was really difficult for her to argue against the tenured faculty member who was listed as the sole author. The faculty member had a lot sway and was an important member and leader in the school’s Political Science department. Eventually, this situation was resolved, but it was a lot of work and stress for my¬†mentor.

I think the best way to avoid this type of interaction is to be very clear from the beginning¬†how authorship for a shared project will look at the end. The guides that this week’s reading offered are helpful frameworks to start that conversation.

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