Giving Credit When Credit Is Due : The Ethics of Academic Authorship

TitleGiving Credit When Credit Is Due : The Ethics of Academic Authorship
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSong, E
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Philosophy
Date PublishedSpring 2011
PublisherPhilosophy Documentation Center
ISSN Number0739-098X
Keywordsacademia , Academic , Authorship , Contribution , education , ENGINEERING , ethics , MEDICINE , SCIENCE , SOCIAL sciences , University
AbstractIssues of academic authorship pose few problems for philosophers or those in the humanities, yet raise a host of issues for medical researchers, engineers and scientists, where multiple authors is the norm and journal articles sometimes list hundreds of authors. At issue here are abstract questions about desert, as well as practical problems regarding the distribution of goods attached to authorship -- tenure, prestige, research grants, etc. This paper defends a version of the author/contributor model, where the specific contributions of authors are described in a footnote, against other models of authorial attribution. Such a model offers the best guarantee that authors will get their due, as well as providing the most reliable protection against misconduct and fraud. The paper also argues that it is important for this model to be institutionalized across disciplinary boundaries as the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research will inevitably bring discipline-specific authorial norms into conflict.
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