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Does the winner take it all? Increasing inequality in scientific authorship


Rauhut, Heiko; Winter, Fabian; Johann, David (2018). Does the winner take it all? Increasing inequality in scientific authorship. In: Scott, Robert A.; Kosslyn, Stephen. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource. Hoboken, 1-14.

Abstract

Scientific authorship has become a hot topic in the social sciences. We present three avenues addressing this topic from different perspectives to illustrate in which direction research on inequalities in the context of scientific authorship and academic publications may move. We draw on data from the Web of Science focusing on the field of sociology. We demonstrate that (i) the alphabetical order of co‐authors' names sends out an ambiguous signal about the actual contributions of each team member, (ii) attention is increasingly paid to a few contributions that are widely cited, and (iii) well‐connected authors tend to work together. In short, this essay suggests a rise in authorship inequalities regarding the attention authors and their articles receive. Sociology and related social sciences are arguably developing into academic winner‐take‐all markets.

Abstract

Scientific authorship has become a hot topic in the social sciences. We present three avenues addressing this topic from different perspectives to illustrate in which direction research on inequalities in the context of scientific authorship and academic publications may move. We draw on data from the Web of Science focusing on the field of sociology. We demonstrate that (i) the alphabetical order of co‐authors' names sends out an ambiguous signal about the actual contributions of each team member, (ii) attention is increasingly paid to a few contributions that are widely cited, and (iii) well‐connected authors tend to work together. In short, this essay suggests a rise in authorship inequalities regarding the attention authors and their articles receive. Sociology and related social sciences are arguably developing into academic winner‐take‐all markets.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:12 December 2018
Deposited On:12 Dec 2019 15:38
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 15:09
ISBN:9781118900772
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118900772.etrds0459

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