Study uncovers ethically dubious co-authorship practices

A recently published survey study of PhD students in Denmark reveals that an ethically questionable culture for assigning authorships to research papers is widespread within the medical and natural sciences across Europe, reports

Under the hashtag #pleasedontstealmywork, dozens of Danish PhD students shared their experiences last spring concerning powerful researchers who use their position to gain co-authorships on papers to which they have not made a significant contribution. A new international study led by researchers from the department of food and resource economics and the department of science education at the University of Copenhagen now shows that these stories were only the tip of the iceberg.

The problem with these ‘guest authorships’ is biggest within the medical sciences, where 49% of the PhD students had granted a guest authorship to a person in power. In the natural and technical sciences (STEM) it was 42%. In the other faculties, it was much less.
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