Whither contribution?

23Nov11

I have a great respect for authors who publish very nice articles which allows me to get inspired. But sometimes I wonder how good is the girth of the manuscript with respect to the number of authors? I mean, would the content of the manuscript fit into precisely the “number of authors” have worked for the manuscript? Is it worth to have “those number of authors” for a manuscript? With due respect to my fellow scientists, I feel sometimes it is overwhelming to mention this. I suggest the journals to incorporate the following measures for this:

1. Before the manuscript is to be written or the work is to be carried, let the authors realize what and the how of contribution for the work. If someone feels that an iota of work is being done/reviewed by so many authors, perhaps a possible explanation be given in the covering letter to the editor.

2. Let there be a three-way test before one sums up the contribution:

Am I involved?
Is my contribution worthwhile?
Am I concerned in lieu of the girth of the manuscript?

I get reminded of the following quotes by Samuel Johnson:

Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.

Just my two cents
Prash

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5 Responses to “Whither contribution?”

  1. 1 S.Velu Mani

    Succinct, comprehensively!!

  2. 2 Hima

    Yes I agree with you because now a days research is like a fascinated thing for many people only for sake of publications and fellowships. In most of the labs the work has been sincerely done by one person and the authorship (first or corresponding) goes to senior fellow in the lab, without any contribution from their side, should share the authorships with them.

  3. 3 Dr. Sundar

    I can quote an example in my life, I did some urgent work to a group of researchers, without consulting my senior;
    Later he came to know of it and asked the team to put his name; I resisted;
    Later he made politics such that the team could no more use computing resources at our centre;
    Later you know what happened — my name is removed and my senior name is just inserted !! The team requested me on that !
    Just imagine !!;
    Sundar

  4. 4 Anil

    Thing to be think seriously.

  5. 5 Anil

    Same thing happened to my friend similar to sundar and that to in reputed institute. He was the scape goat and joined in another lab after working for more than 15 months. His mentor asked him to give his topic to his nice.


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