Workshop Agenda

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Wednesday May 16th, 2012

8:15 a.m.     Registration and coffee

8:45 a.m.     Introductions, Amy Brand, Assistant Provost for Faculty Appointments, Harvard

9:00 a.m.     Keynote: The Collective Author, Peter Galison, University Professor, Harvard

Over the last fifty years, high-energy physics collaborations have grown from a handful of physicists in the 1940s, through dozens in the 1960s to hundreds in the 1980s, and now, in one of the most extraordinary association of scientists, to several thousand scientists on each of two experiments at CERN.  At each stage of expansion, scientists have been painfully aware of how, fundamentally, credit and attribution were in flux.  In this discussion, I analyze just what this struggle has yielded, and what the entity is that produces the results of these collaborations.  When one of these CERN experiment like ATLAS announces a result, who, or what, is speaking? 

9:25 a.m.     Diverse perspectives on authorship: Scholar, Funder, Publisher, Provost (Moderated by Diane Scott-Lichter, Publisher, American Association for Cancer Research)

> Issues of authorship practice and policy in experimental science research labs ( extavour_authorship2012.pptx extavour_authorship2012.pptx_read-only.pdf ), Cassandra Extavour, Associate Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard

Extavour will highlight how the wants and needs of scholars at various career stages (undergraduate student, graduate student, post-doc, research assistant, faculty pre- and post-tenure) play out in the practices of authorship, what happens when those aspects of authorship may conflict, and the consequences of different solutions to such conflicts for the furtherance of research and careers. She will draw on her expertise in experimental scientific research, although some of the themes will apply to publication practice in the humanities and social sciences.

> Contribution & attribution in research: funder perspectives ( presentation pdf here ), Liz Allen, Senior Evaluation Adviser, Wellcome Trust

Allen will outline the outputs of funded research that interest the funder, for which knowing who did what is key. She will discuss the inadequacy of current funding and acknowledgement sections in journals for identifying funding and those funded, and the challenges funders face in identifying individual contributions, which are exacerbated by the increasing numbers of listed authors, particularly in consortium work in general and the biosciences in particular.

> Authorship: the journal perspective ( presentation pdf here ), Christine Laine, Editor, Annals of Internal Medicine

Laine will cover various definitions of authorship (traditional, ICMJE, CSE, contributorship), why authorship matters, why editors/publishers can't/shouldn't determine who should be an author, and how to avoid authorship battles. She will also propose a more contemporary authorship definition.

> Authorship: a provostial perspective (deeply informed by scholar, selection/funding committee, and editorial board perspectives), Judith Singer, Senior Vice Provost, Harvard University

Singer will highlight the importance of exploring alignments and misalignments between the many purposes for scholarly publishing and the multiple ways in which scholarly publications are used by individuals occupying different roles to make very different kinds of decisions.  Her remarks will focus on how these issues play out in the academic promotion and tenure process with an eye towards the types of additional information—probably well beyond what might ever be contained in a scholarly publication—that such high stakes decisions demand.

10:25 a.m.  Coffee break

10:45 a.m.  Related initiatives: context and feasibility (Moderated by Merce Crosas, Director of Product Development, IQSS)

> PLoS: Big science and medicine and the attribution of authorship ( presentation pdf here ), Ginny Barbour, Chief Editor PLoS Medicine, Public Library of Science

Medical and scientific research is increasingly being done by large groups of collaborators on complex projects often from many different institution and countries. Under such circumstances what constitutes “authorship” is increasingly hard to agree on and now presents specific problems. I will discuss three issues, all of which address the difficulties inherent in the term “authorship”.

First, do the current definitions of “authorship” currently sufficiently capture what contributions those who are involved in  in research make to specific projects; are these definitions sufficient to  give appropriate academic credit; do these definitions ensure that authors take appropriate responsibility for the papers on which they are listed as authors. Second, what is the effect of current authorship guidelines on ethical issues such as ghost and guest authorship? Third, what technical possibilities are there for attributing “authorship” more precisely?

> Why are the attribution and citation of scientific data important? (Introduction to the BRDI/CODATA report) ( presentation pdf here ) Christine Borgman, Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies, UCLA

Developing Data Attribution and Citation Practices and Standards. US CODATA and the Board on Research Data and Information, in collaboration with CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation Standards and Practices  (

> FundRef: a new project from a publisher-funding agency collaboration to standardize the collection and display of funding agency information in scholarly publications ( presentation pdf here ), Fred Dylla, Executive Director and CEO, American Institute of Physics

Funding agencies and the research community supported by funding agencies have a responsibility to report the results of the supported research to various constituencies including the public. Presently, funders and grant numbers are not always included in the resulting scholarly publications. Where publishers do collect this information it is presented in non-standard locations in the publications making it difficult to locate. If this information can be collected, displayed and archived as an agreed upon component of the standard metadata associated with a scholarly publication, an important service will be provided to the authors, funding agencies and readers who access these publications. The CrossRef organization is managing a new pilot project, called “FundRef,” the purpose of which is to develop and test the protocol for collecting appropriate funding agency information from authors at the time of submission of manuscripts to scholarly publishers. Presently six scholarly publishers and four funding agencies are participating in the design and implementation of the pilot project. Project status and updates will be posted at

> Contributor roles in VIVO ( presentation pdf here ), Brian Lowe, VIVO Semantic Lead Developer, Cornell University Library

The VIVO project ( enables international networking of scientists through the sharing of linked open semantic data.  VIVO uses an ontology designed to represent a broad spectrum of activities and relationships in which a researcher is involved.  This involves modeling the roles an academic holds in different spans of time. I briefly introduce how researchers’ roles are represented in the VIVO, some of the issues we’ve had to address, and open questions we are considering. Topics include: Getting the research process right:  What are roles really in?  What processes and activities do we need to consider?  How can the ontology world help? Avoiding seeing the world through a publication-colored lens.  How can we enable linking research roles to different types of outputs? Using an ontology for semantic data.  How does it differ from a simple controlled list of terms? Capturing time bounds on roles to enable aggregation of data over a researcher’s career. Allowing for institutions or disciplines to describe highly specific roles while permitting common understanding at more general level.

> Researcher perspectives on on attribution, contributorship and new forms of scholarly communication: preliminary survey results ( presentation pdf here presentation pdf here ), Mike Taylor, Principal Investigator, Elsevier Labs

12:30  p.m.  Lunch

1:30 p.m.    Breakout sessions

3:00  p.m.  Coffee

3:20  p.m.  Breakout session reports and discussion (Moderated by Liz Allen and Amy Brand)

4:30  p.m.  Wrap-up/next steps, Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information  (Podcast here)

5:15 p.m.    Closing reception