GRAD5014: Week 15: Reflection on Final Project

For the final project, I want to discuss about the  authorship issues. I want to explore the following questions:  a) What are the students’ experiences of authorship issues? b) What are the potential reasons that causing problems? c) How authorship issues be addressed in the higher education?

The purpose of my final project is to explore the process of determining authorship credit and authorship order on research collaborations; to explore graduate students’ experiences of determining authorship credit and authorship order; and to discuss the potential reasons that lead to the issues and what need to be done to avoid this issue.

In order to answer these questions, I searched and conducted a literature review about determine credit and authorship orders on research collaboration.  Peer-reviewed articles published after 2000 are included, and I identified about 30 articles. I briefly reviewed all the articles and then I did four face-to-face interview with graduate students, as this is project is for class-use only, not for publication, I didn’t record and transcript the interview, I just wrote down their answers, and summarized their stories.

The interview questions are as follows:  1) Have you experienced any authorship related issues before? Could you tell me more about it? 2) What do you think are the potential reasons for this? 3) What do you think will be helpful for you to learn more about authorship issues?

Based on their answers, I analyzed three cases and then made the following recommendations:

  • To be included as an author, a student should make a professional contribution that is creative and intellectual in nature.
  • Authorship decision should be based on the scholarly importance of the professional contribution and not just the time and effort made or whether they were paid.
  • Agreements regarding authorship should be made early in the collaboration process.
  • Every student should take GRAD5014: Ethics and Scholarly Integrity class!  🙂

I look forward to our final class presentation, so I can get some constructive feedback from other students in our class!