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Do age and professional rank influence the order of authorship in scientific publications? Some evidence from a micro-level perspective.

Costas R, Bordons M - Scientometrics (2011)

Bottom Line: There is a strong trend for signatures of younger researchers and those in the lower professional ranks to appear in the first position (junior signing pattern), while more veteran or highly-ranked ones, who tend to play supervisory functions in research, are proportionally more likely to sign in the last position (senior signing pattern).Professional rank and age have an effect on authorship order in the three fields analysed, but there are inter-field differences.Authorship patterns are especially marked in the most collaboration-intensive field (i.e. Biology and Biomedicine), where professional rank seems to be more significant than age in determining the role of scientists in research as seen through their authorship patterns, while age has a more significant effect in the least collaboration-intensive field (Natural Resources).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
Scientific authorship has important implications in science since it reflects the contribution to research of the different individual scientists and it is considered by evaluation committees in research assessment processes. This study analyses the order of authorship in the scientific output of 1,064 permanent scientists at the Spanish CSIC (WoS, 1994-2004). The influence of age, professional rank and bibliometric profile of scientists over the position of their names in the byline of publications is explored in three different research areas: Biology and Biomedicine, Materials Science and Natural Resources. There is a strong trend for signatures of younger researchers and those in the lower professional ranks to appear in the first position (junior signing pattern), while more veteran or highly-ranked ones, who tend to play supervisory functions in research, are proportionally more likely to sign in the last position (senior signing pattern). Professional rank and age have an effect on authorship order in the three fields analysed, but there are inter-field differences. Authorship patterns are especially marked in the most collaboration-intensive field (i.e. Biology and Biomedicine), where professional rank seems to be more significant than age in determining the role of scientists in research as seen through their authorship patterns, while age has a more significant effect in the least collaboration-intensive field (Natural Resources).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Share of documents signed by scientists as first and last author by age and professional rank
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Fig5: Share of documents signed by scientists as first and last author by age and professional rank

Mentions: Our analysis shows that the percentage of last-authored documents is influenced by the professional rank and age of scientists in Biology and Biomedicine and Natural Resources. In these areas, there is no interaction between age and rank (Table 4), that is, for all professional ranks the percentage of last-authored documents tends to increase with age (Fig. 5). Interestingly, the effect of the professional rank is higher than that of age in Biology and Biomedicine (higher Wald Chi square value4), while both variables show a very similar effect in the field of Natural Resources. In Materials Science, the professional rank is the major influential variable. An interaction between age and rank is identified in this area due to the fact that the percentage of last-authored documents tends to increase with age for tenured scientists and research professors, but this pattern is not so apparent for research scientists (Fig. 5).Table 4


Do age and professional rank influence the order of authorship in scientific publications? Some evidence from a micro-level perspective.

Costas R, Bordons M - Scientometrics (2011)

Share of documents signed by scientists as first and last author by age and professional rank
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3111668&req=5

Fig5: Share of documents signed by scientists as first and last author by age and professional rank
Mentions: Our analysis shows that the percentage of last-authored documents is influenced by the professional rank and age of scientists in Biology and Biomedicine and Natural Resources. In these areas, there is no interaction between age and rank (Table 4), that is, for all professional ranks the percentage of last-authored documents tends to increase with age (Fig. 5). Interestingly, the effect of the professional rank is higher than that of age in Biology and Biomedicine (higher Wald Chi square value4), while both variables show a very similar effect in the field of Natural Resources. In Materials Science, the professional rank is the major influential variable. An interaction between age and rank is identified in this area due to the fact that the percentage of last-authored documents tends to increase with age for tenured scientists and research professors, but this pattern is not so apparent for research scientists (Fig. 5).Table 4

Bottom Line: There is a strong trend for signatures of younger researchers and those in the lower professional ranks to appear in the first position (junior signing pattern), while more veteran or highly-ranked ones, who tend to play supervisory functions in research, are proportionally more likely to sign in the last position (senior signing pattern).Professional rank and age have an effect on authorship order in the three fields analysed, but there are inter-field differences.Authorship patterns are especially marked in the most collaboration-intensive field (i.e. Biology and Biomedicine), where professional rank seems to be more significant than age in determining the role of scientists in research as seen through their authorship patterns, while age has a more significant effect in the least collaboration-intensive field (Natural Resources).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
Scientific authorship has important implications in science since it reflects the contribution to research of the different individual scientists and it is considered by evaluation committees in research assessment processes. This study analyses the order of authorship in the scientific output of 1,064 permanent scientists at the Spanish CSIC (WoS, 1994-2004). The influence of age, professional rank and bibliometric profile of scientists over the position of their names in the byline of publications is explored in three different research areas: Biology and Biomedicine, Materials Science and Natural Resources. There is a strong trend for signatures of younger researchers and those in the lower professional ranks to appear in the first position (junior signing pattern), while more veteran or highly-ranked ones, who tend to play supervisory functions in research, are proportionally more likely to sign in the last position (senior signing pattern). Professional rank and age have an effect on authorship order in the three fields analysed, but there are inter-field differences. Authorship patterns are especially marked in the most collaboration-intensive field (i.e. Biology and Biomedicine), where professional rank seems to be more significant than age in determining the role of scientists in research as seen through their authorship patterns, while age has a more significant effect in the least collaboration-intensive field (Natural Resources).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus