Authorship in Student-Faculty Collaborative Research: Perceptions of Current and Best Practices
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- Welfare, L.E. & Sackett, C.R. J Acad Ethics (2010) 8: 199. doi:10.1007/s10805-010-9119-7
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Determining appropriate authorship recognition in student-faculty collaborative research is a complex task. In this quantitative study, responses from 1346 students and faculty in education and some social science disciplines at 36 research-intensive institutions in the United States were analyzed to provide a description of current and recommended practices for authorship in student-faculty collaborative research. The responses revealed practices and perceptions that are not aligned with ethical guidelines and a lack of consensus among respondents about appropriate practice. Faculty and student respondents agreed that students deserve more authorship recognition than they get in common practice but they did not agree on the appropriate authorship arrangement for several of the collaborative scenarios described in the study or on the relative value of various contributions to research projects. The misalignment with ethical codes and lack of consensus among the respondents is problematic because student-faculty collaborative research is common and authored publications are powerful indicators of research competency. With these detailed results, students and faculty can better anticipate areas where their perspectives are likely to differ and faculty can work to clarify ambiguous expectations.