Group authorship, an excellent opportunity laced with ethical, legal and technical challenges

Authors : Mohammad Hosseini, Alex O. Holcombe, Marton Kovacs, Hub Zwart, Daniel S. Katz, Kristi Holmes

Group authorship (also known as corporate authorship, team authorship, consortium authorship) refers to attribution practices that use the name of a collective (be it team, group, project, corporation, or consortium) in the authorship byline. Data shows that group authorships are on the rise but thus far, in scholarly discussions about authorship, they have not gained much specific attention.

Group authorship can minimize tensions within the group about authorship order and the criteria used for inclusion/exclusion of individual authors. However, current use of group authorships has drawbacks, such as ethical challenges associated with the attribution of credit and responsibilities, legal challenges regarding how copyrights are handled, and technical challenges related to the lack of persistent identifiers (PIDs), such as ORCID, for groups.

We offer two recommendations: 1) Journals should develop and share context-specific and unambiguous guidelines for group authorship, for which they can use the four baseline requirements offered in this paper; 2) Using persistent identifiers for groups and consistent reporting of members’ contributions should be facilitated through devising PIDs for groups and linking these to the ORCIDs of their individual contributors and the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the published item.

URL : Group authorship, an excellent opportunity laced with ethical, legal and technical challenges


Gender disparity in publication records: a qualitative study of women researchers in computing and engineering

Authors : Mohammad Hosseini, Shiva Sharifzad


The current paper follows up on the results of an exploratory quantitative analysis that compared the publication and citation records of men and women researchers affiliated with the Faculty of Computing and Engineering at Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland.

Quantitative analysis of publications between 2013 and 2018 showed that women researchers had fewer publications, received fewer citations per person, and participated less often in international collaborations.

Given the significance of publications for pursuing an academic career, we used qualitative methods to understand these differences and explore factors that, according to women researchers, have contributed to this disparity.


Sixteen women researchers from DCU’s Faculty of Computing and Engineering were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Once interviews were transcribed and anonymised, they were coded by both authors in two rounds using an inductive approach.


Interviewed women believed that their opportunities for research engagement and research funding, collaborations, publications and promotions are negatively impacted by gender roles, implicit gender biases, their own high professional standards, family responsibilities, nationality and negative perceptions of their expertise and accomplishments.


Our study has found that women in DCU’s Faculty of Computing and Engineering face challenges that, according to those interviewed, negatively affect their engagement in various research activities, and, therefore, have contributed to their lower publication record.

We suggest that while affirmative programmes aiming to correct disparities are necessary, they are more likely to  improve organisational culture if they are implemented in parallel with bottom-up initiatives that engage all parties, including men researchers and non-academic partners, to inform and sensitise them about the significance of gender equity.

URL : Gender disparity in publication records: a qualitative study of women researchers in computing and engineering


A tale of two ‘opens’: intersections between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship

Authors : Jonathan Tennant, Ritwik Agarwal, Ksenija Baždarić, David Brassard, Tom Crick, Daniel Dunleavy, Thomas Evans, Nicholas Gardner, Monica Gonzalez-Marquez, Daniel Graziotin, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Daniel Gunnarsson, Johanna Havemann, Mohammad Hosseini, Daniel Katz, Marcel Knöchelmann, Christopher Madan, Paolo Manghi, Alberto Marocchino, Paola Masuzzo, Peter Murray-Rust, Sanjay Narayanaswamy, Gustav Nilsonne, Josmel Pacheco-Mendoza, Bart Penders, Olivier Pourret, Michael Rera, John Samuel, Tobias Steiner, Jadranka Stojanovski, Alejandro Uribe-Tirado, Rutger Vos, Simon Worthington, Tal Yarkoni

There is no clear-cut boundary between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship, and the histories, practices, and fundamental principles between the two remain complex.

In this study, we critically appraise the intersections and differences between the two movements. Based on our thematic comparison here, we conclude several key things.

First, there is substantial scope for new communities of practice to form within scholarly communities that place sharing and collaboration/open participation at their focus.

Second, Both the principles and practices of FOSS can be more deeply ingrained within scholarship, asserting a balance between pragmatism and social ideology.

Third, at the present, Open Scholarship risks being subverted and compromised by commercial players.

Fourth, the shift and acceleration towards a system of Open Scholarship will be greatly enhanced by a concurrent shift in recognising a broader range of practices and outputs beyond traditional peer review and research articles.

In order to achieve this, we propose the formulation of a new type of institutional mandate. We believe that there is substantial need for research funders to invest in sustainable open scholarly infrastructure, and the communities that support them, to avoid the capture and enclosure of key research services that would prevent optimal researcher behaviours.

Such a shift could ultimately lead to a healthier scientific culture, and a system where competition is replaced by collaboration, resources (including time and people) are shared and acknowledged more efficiently, and the research becomes inherently more rigorous, verified, and reproducible.

URL : A tale of two ‘opens’: intersections between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship