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Collaborating in Life Science Research Groups: The Question of Authorship

Mueller, Ruth LU (2012) In Higher Education Policy 25(3). p.289-311
Abstract
This qualitative study explores how life science postdocs’ perceptions of contemporary academic career rationales influence how they relate to collaboration within research groups. One consequential dimension of these perceptions is the high value assigned to publications. For career progress, postdocs consider producing publications and especially first author publications essential. This strong focus on publications is

influential for how postdocs prefer to organize the socio-epistemic processes of their research work. To ensure first authorship, avoid authorship conflicts and keep the number of co-authors low, they articulate a preference for working mainly individually. Existing collaborations and support relationships are... (More)
This qualitative study explores how life science postdocs’ perceptions of contemporary academic career rationales influence how they relate to collaboration within research groups. One consequential dimension of these perceptions is the high value assigned to publications. For career progress, postdocs consider producing publications and especially first author publications essential. This strong focus on publications is

influential for how postdocs prefer to organize the socio-epistemic processes of their research work. To ensure first authorship, avoid authorship conflicts and keep the number of co-authors low, they articulate a preference for working mainly individually. Existing collaborations and support relationships are frequently assessed

in terms of whether they will have to share or lose authorship. Hence, while formally, the life sciences have become more collaborative, postdocs report that in their day-today practices, they try to avoid collaboration. By drawing attention to this tension, the author aims to contribute to a growing debate about incentive systems in academic

science and their unexpected negative side effects. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
collaboration, competition, authorship, biology, career, qualitative research, Austria
in
Higher Education Policy
volume
25
issue
3
pages
289 - 311
publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
external identifiers
  • scopus:84865269288
ISSN
1740-3863
DOI
10.1057/hep.2012.11
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
5f6b2846-9274-43bb-a4f0-2c5f2f079257 (old id 4191878)
date added to LUP
2013-12-06 08:48:57
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:16:12
@article{5f6b2846-9274-43bb-a4f0-2c5f2f079257,
  abstract     = {This qualitative study explores how life science postdocs’ perceptions of contemporary academic career rationales influence how they relate to collaboration within research groups. One consequential dimension of these perceptions is the high value assigned to publications. For career progress, postdocs consider producing publications and especially first author publications essential. This strong focus on publications is<br/><br>
influential for how postdocs prefer to organize the socio-epistemic processes of their research work. To ensure first authorship, avoid authorship conflicts and keep the number of co-authors low, they articulate a preference for working mainly individually. Existing collaborations and support relationships are frequently assessed<br/><br>
in terms of whether they will have to share or lose authorship. Hence, while formally, the life sciences have become more collaborative, postdocs report that in their day-today practices, they try to avoid collaboration. By drawing attention to this tension, the author aims to contribute to a growing debate about incentive systems in academic<br/><br>
science and their unexpected negative side effects.},
  author       = {Mueller, Ruth},
  issn         = {1740-3863},
  keyword      = {collaboration,competition,authorship,biology,career,qualitative research,Austria},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {289--311},
  publisher    = {Palgrave Macmillan},
  series       = {Higher Education Policy},
  title        = {Collaborating in Life Science Research Groups: The Question of Authorship},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/hep.2012.11},
  volume       = {25},
  year         = {2012},
}