Conference article  Open Access

Open Science and authorship of supplementary material. Evidence from a research community

Mannocci A., Irrera O., Manghi P.

Authorship  Open Science  Openaire 

While, in early science, most of the papers were authored by a handful of scientists, modern science is characterised by more extensive collaborations, and the average number of authors per article has increased across many disciplines (Baethge, 2008; Cronin, 2001; Fernandes & Monteiro, 2017; Frandsen & Nicolaisen, 2010; Wren et al., 2007). Indeed, in some fields of science (e.g., High Energy Physics), it is not infrequent to encounter hundreds or thousands of authors co-participating in the same piece of research. Such intricate collaboration patterns make it difficult to establish a correct relationship between contributor and scientific contribution and hence get an accurate and fair reward during research evaluation (Brand, Allen, Altman, Hlava, & Scott, 2015; Vasilevsky et al., 2021; Vergoulis et al., 2022). Thus, as widely known, scientific authorship tends to be a rather hot-button topic in academia, as roughly one-fifth of academic disputes among authors stem from this (Dance, 2012). Open Science, however, has the potential to disrupt such traditional mechanisms by injecting into the "academic market" new kinds of "currency" for credit attribution, merit and impact assessment (Mooney & Newton, 2012; Silvello, 2018). To this end, the new practices of supplementary research data (and software) deposition and citation could be perceived as an opportunity to diversify the attribution portfolio and eventually give credit to the different contributors involved in the diverse phases of the lifecycle within the same research endeavour (Bierer, Crosas, & Pierce, 2017; Brand et al., 2015). While, on the one hand, it is known that authors' ordering tells little or nothing about authors' roles and contributions (Kosmulski, 2012), on the other hand, we argue that variations of any kind in author sets of paired publications and supplementary material can be indicative. Despite being unclear the actual reason behind such a variation, the presence of a fracture between the publication and research data realms might suggest once more that current practices for research assessment and reward should be revised and updated to capture such peculiarities as well. In (Mannocci, Irrera, & Manghi, 2022), we argue that modern Open Science Graphs (OSGs) can be used to analyse whether this is the case or not and understand if the opportunity has been seized already. By offering extensive metadata descriptions of both literature, research data, software, and their semantic relations, OSGs constitute a fertile ground to analyse this phenomenon computationally and thus analyse the emergence of significant patterns. As a preliminary study, in this paper, we conduct a focused analysis on a subset of publications with supplementary material drawn from the European Marine Science3 (MES) research community. The results are promising and suggest our hypothesis is worth exploring further. Indeed, in 702 cases out of 3,075 (22.83%), there are substantial variations between the authors participating in the publication and the authors participating in the supplementary dataset (or software), thus posing the premises for a longitudinal, large-scale analysis of the phenomenon.

Source: STI 2022 - 26th International Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators, Granada, Spain, 7-9/09/2022


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BibTeX entry
	title = {Open Science and authorship of supplementary material. Evidence from a research community},
	author = {Mannocci A. and Irrera O. and Manghi P.},
	doi = {10.5281/zenodo.6975411},
	booktitle = {STI 2022 - 26th International Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators, Granada, Spain, 7-9/09/2022},
	year = {2022}

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