Sunday, January 04, 2009

Author List

Recently there was a post by physioprof on the co-first author that appears second in the list. While I don't agree to with views that second listed first author to be completely ignored, but it does raise some question about authorship in papers.

While the younger lot generally go for quantity over quality and try to get themselves in any paper they find getting out of the group, many older un-productive ones that have been lying dormant for a long time get into papers through their experience. In many instances there are at least 30% of the people in a multi author paper get a free ride. There are also few others who generally get a ride through their influence or by having a good relationship with the PI. I know atleast a bunch of people who see their names in the paper by periodically checking their previous PI's website. They have no idea how and when the paper get published. Now this raises a serious question on genuine authorships in papers. In many journals there is a section to mention which author did what to the paper and I think that should be the norm

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