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What's the Point of Authors?

habgood-coote, joshua (2019) What's the Point of Authors? [Preprint]

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Who should be the author(s) of an academic paper? This question is becoming increasingly pressing, due to the increasing prevalence and scale of scientific collaboration, and the corresponding diversity of authorship practices in different disciplines and subdisciplines. This paper addresses the conceptual issues underlying authorship, with an eye to ameliorating authorship practices. The first part of the paper distinguishes five roles played by authorship attributions: allocating credit, constructing a speaker, enabling credibility judgements, supporting accountability, and creating an intellectual marketplace. The second part of the paper argues that distinguishing these functions helps us see that at least some of the confusions around authorship are due to tensions between these functions. The final part of the paper suggests a way to resolve these conceptual confusions, which we will call the CSWG proposal. This proposal suggests replacing authorship with a bundle of roles tailored to the functions of authorship—contributor, spokesperson, writer, and guarantor—which can be distributed in a number of different ways.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: Authorship, Collaboration, Social Epistemology, Collective Knowledge, Epistemic Injustice, Epistemology of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr Joshua Habgood-Coote
Date Deposited: 17 May 2021 14:09
Last Modified: 17 May 2021 14:09
Item ID: 19051
Subjects: General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 16 January 2019

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