Five years ago I wrote a piece titled Retrospective: Credits, Dis-credits and mis-credits, recycling an article I wrote for my consulting website in 2002 triggered by an article written earlier that year by Peter Lawrence about credits for research work, Rank Injustice.
Yesterday the Wellcome Trust and Digital Science announced an updated “Contributor Role Taxonomy to provide a high-level classification of the diverse roles performed by individuals in the work leading to published academic research.”
My suggestion in 2002 was a simple two-level credit idea: authors and administrators. I was concerned that too complex a collection of roles might work against a scheme identifying being taken up. (I did touch on some other forms of credit, including a colleague’s forward-looking suggestion that ‘big data’ might impact on authorship credit.)
|Conceptualization||Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims.|
|Methodology||Development or design of methodology; creation of models.|
|Software||Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.|
|Validation||Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.|
|Formal Analysis||Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyse or synthesize study data.|
|Investigation||Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.|
|Resources||Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.|
|Data Curation||Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later re-use.|
|Writing – Original Draft||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).|
|Writing – Review & Editing||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages.|
|Visualization||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.|
|Supervision||Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.|
|Project Administration||Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.|
|Funding Acquisition||Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.|
The back-story of the project can be read on their website. A list of possible benefits is given on the project’s history page. Those involved in the project include several major scientific publishers. Publications and other activities can be found on the ‘Connections’ page.
What do researchers think? Or administrators of grant applications, potential employers, journal editors, …
Would widespread use of a scheme like this have an impact on Peter Lawrence’s and my original concerns, missed credit and ‘credit grabbing’? What about job and grant applications?
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