Authorship conflicts in academia: an international cross‑discipline survey

Authors : Elizaveta Savchenko, Ariel Rosenfeld

Collaboration among scholars has emerged as a significant characteristic of contemporary science. As a result, the number of authors listed in publications continues to rise steadily. Unfortunately, determining the authors to be included in the byline and their respective order entails multiple difficulties which often lead to conflicts. Despite the large volume of literature about conflicts in academia, it remains unclear how exactly these are distributed over the main socio-demographic properties, as well as the different types of interactions academics experience.

To address this gap, we conducted an international and cross-disciplinary survey answered by 752 academics from 41 fields of research and 93 countries that statistically well-represent the overall academic workforce. Our findings are concerning and suggest that conflicts over authorship credit arise very early in one’s academic career, even at the level of Master and Ph.D., and become increasingly common over time.

URL : Authorship conflicts in academia: an international cross‑discipline survey


Scientific collaboration on open science in the field of Information Science

Authors : Lígia Parreira Muniz Gäal, César Antonio Pereira


Open Science is a movement largely based on knowledge sharing and its discussion has been carried out by several areas, including Information Science. Scientific collaboration has potential to benefit science in several ways, however, little is known about country collaboration in this area.


Therefore, the objective of this work is to analyze scientific cooperation between countries on the subject of Open Science in the field of Information Science.


The network analysis method (co-authorship between countries) and the frequency of keywords were used to identify the most discussed subjects.


The results showed that England has a central position in the scientific collaboration network. However, it is necessary to improve communication to avoid loss of quality in the information transmission.


The Open Access theme is still the most evident, however, topics such as research data management have gained notoriety in discussions on Open Science in the field of Information Science.

URL : Scientific collaboration on open science in the field of Information Science


Collaborative Processes in Science and Literature: an In-Depth Look at the Cases of CERN and SIC

Authors : Emilia Leogrande, Renato Nicassio

In this paper we examine how the process of collaboration works in science and literature. In the first part, we discuss the features of scientific collaboration and literary collaboration and the differences between them.

In the second part, we analyze two processes of collaboration, each from a different field: the case of CERN and high-energy physics and the case of Scrittura Industriale Collettiva and its Great Open Novel. Lastly, we try to compare those two processes and deduce the common traits of a successful collaboration.

URL : Collaborative Processes in Science and Literature: an In-Depth Look at the Cases of CERN and SIC


The measurement of “interdisciplinarity” and “synergy” in scientific and extra‐scientific collaborations

Authors : Loet Leydesdorff, Inga Ivanova

Problem solving often requires crossing boundaries, such as those between disciplines. When policy‐makers call for “interdisciplinarity,” however, they often mean “synergy.” Synergy is generated when the whole offers more possibilities than the sum of its parts. An increase in the number of options above the sum of the options in subsets can be measured as redundancy; that is, the number of not‐yet‐realized options.

The number of options available to an innovation system for realization can be as decisive for the system’s survival as the historically already‐realized innovations. Unlike “interdisciplinarity,” “synergy” can also be generated in sectorial or geographical collaborations. The measurement of “synergy,” however, requires a methodology different from the measurement of “interdisciplinarity.”

In this study, we discuss recent advances in the operationalization and measurement of “interdisciplinarity,” and propose a methodology for measuring “synergy” based on information theory.

The sharing of meanings attributed to information from different perspectives can increase redundancy. Increasing redundancy reduces the relative uncertainty, for example, in niches.

The operationalization of the two concepts—“interdisciplinarity” and “synergy”—as different and partly overlapping indicators allows for distinguishing between the effects and the effectiveness of science‐policy interventions in research priorities.

URL : The measurement of “interdisciplinarity” and “synergy” in scientific and extra‐scientific collaborations


Coronavirus mapping in scientific publications: When science advances rapidly and collectively, is access to this knowledge open to society?

Authors : Simone Belli, Rogério Mugnaini, Joan Baltà, Ernest Abadal

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a global health emergency. Mapping this health emergency in scientific publications demands multiple approaches to obtain a picture as complete as possible. To progress in the knowledge of this pandemic and to control its effects, international collaborations between researchers are essentials, as well as having open and immediate access to scientific publications, what we called “coopetition”.

Our main objectives are to identify the most productive countries in coronavirus publications, to analyse the international scientific collaboration on this topic, and to study the proportion and typology of open accessibility to these publications.

We have analyzed 18,875 articles indexed in Web of Science. We performed the descriptive statistical analysis in order to explore the performance of the more prolific countries and organizations, as well as paying attention to the last 2 years. Registers have been analyzed separately via the VOSviewer software, drawing a network of links among countries and organizations to identify the starred countries and organizations, and the strongest links of the net.

We have explored the capacity of researchers to generate scientific knowledge about a health crisis emergency, and their global capacity to collaborate among them in a global emergency. We consider that science is moving rapidly to find solutions to international health problems but access to this knowledge by society is not so quick due to several limitations (open access policies, corporate interests, etc.).

We have observed that papers from China in the last 3 months (from January 2020 to March 2020) have a strong impact compared with papers published in years before. The United States and China are the major producers of documents of our sample, followed by all European countries, especially the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and France.

At the same time, the leading role of Saudi Arabia, Canada or South Korea should be noted, with a significant number of documents submitted but very different dynamics of international collaboration.

The proportion of international collaboration is growing in all countries in 2019–2020, which contrasts with the situation of the last two decades. The organizations providing the most documents to the sample are mostly Chinese.

The percentage of open access articles on coronavirus for the period 2001–2020 is 59.2% but if we focus in 2020 the figures increase up to 91.4%, due to the commitment of commercial publishers with the emergency.


Preliminary analysis of COVID-19 academic information patterns: a call for open science in the times of closed borders

Authors : Jan Homolak, Ivan Kodvanj, D. Virag

The Pandemic of COVID-19, an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 motivated the scientific community to work together in order to gather, organize, process and distribute data on the novel biomedical hazard. Here, we analyzed how the scientific community responded to this challenge by quantifying distribution and availability patterns of the academic information related to COVID-19.

The aim of this study was to assess the quality of the information flow and scientific collaboration, two factors we believe to be critical for finding new solutions for the ongoing pandemic.

The RISmed R package, and a custom Python script were used to fetch metadata on articles indexed in PubMed and published on Rxiv preprint server. Scopus was manually searched and the metadata was exported in BibTex file. Publication rate and publication status, affiliation and author count per article, and submission-to-publication time were analysed in R. Biblioshiny application was used to create a world collaboration map.

Preliminary data suggest that COVID-19 pandemic resulted in generation of a large amount of scientific data, and demonstrates potential problems regarding the information velocity, availability, and scientific collaboration in the early stages of the pandemic. More specifically, the results indicate precarious overload of the standard publication systems, significant problems with data availability and apparent deficient collaboration.

In conclusion, we believe the scientific community could have used the data more efficiently in order to create proper foundations for finding new solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, we believe we can learn from this on the go and adopt open science principles and a more mindful approach to COVID-19-related data to accelerate the discovery of more efficient solutions. We take this opportunity to invite our colleagues to contribute to this global scientific collaboration by publishing their findings with maximal transparency.


Being published successfully or getting arXived? The importance of social capital and interdisciplinary collaboration for getting printed in a high impact journal in Physics

Authors : Oliver J. Wieczorek, Mark Wittek, Raphael H. Heiberger

The structure of collaboration is known to be of great importance for the success of scientific endeavors. In particular, various types of social capital employed in co-authored work and projects bridging disciplinary boundaries have attracted researchers’ interest.

Almost all previous studies, however, use samples with an inherent survivor bias, i.e., they focus on papers that have already been published. In contrast, our article examines the chances for getting a working paper published by using a unique dataset of 245,000 papers uploaded to arXiv.

ArXiv is a popular preprint platform in Physics which allows us to construct a co-authorship network from which we can derive different types of social capital and interdisciplinary teamwork.

To emphasize the ‘normal case’ of community-specific standards of excellence, we assess publications in Physics’ high impact journals as success. Utilizing multilevel event history models, our results reveal that already a moderate number of persistent collaborations spanning at least two years is the most important social antecedent of getting a manuscript published successfully.

In contrast, inter- and subdisciplinary collaborations decrease the probability of publishing in an eminent journal in Physics, which can only partially be mitigated by scientists’ social capital.