- S&E Organizations, Education, Careers and Workforce
- Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
Dr. John P. Walsh is a Professor in the School of Public Policy. He teaches and does research on science, technology and innovation, using a sociological perspective that focuses on organizations and work to explain how research organizations respond to changes in their policy environment. Recent work includes studies of university-industry linkages in the US and Japan, the effects of research tool patents on biomedical researchers and country and industry differences in the role of patents in firm strategy. His work has been published in Science, American Sociological Review, Research Policy, Social Studies of Science, and Management Science. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, the Matsushita Foundation and the Japan Foundation, and he has done consulting for the National Academy of Sciences, the OECD, the European Commission and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Journal Article – March 2017
Scientific authorship has become a contested terrain in contemporary science. Based on a survey of authors across fields, we measure the likelihood of specialist authors (sometimes called “guest” authors): people who only made specialized contributions, such as data, materials, or funding; and “nonauthor collaborators” (sometimes referred to as “ghost” authors): those who did significant work on the project but do not appear as authors, across different research contexts, including field, size of the project team, commercial orientation, impact of publication, and organization of the collaboration. We find that guest and ghost authors are common, with about one-third of publications having at least one specialist author and over half having at least one nonauthor collaborator. We see significant cross-field variations in both overall rates and types of specialist authors and nonauthor collaborators. We find there are generally fewer specialist authors among highly cited papers and more graduate student nonauthor collaborators in single location projects. The results suggest authorship practices vary across fields, and by project characteristics, complicating the use of authorship lists as a basis for evaluation (especially when comparing across fields or types of projects). We discuss implications of these findings for interpreting author lists in the context of science policy.