Category Archives: coauthorship

The case of the disappearing author

As collaborations get larger, more international, and more likely to involve coauthors who don’t actually know each other well, a problem that’s always existed is getting more troublesome. I’ve just seen the next step, and it isn’t pretty. It arises from the case – and the consequences – of the disappearing author.

I think (I hope) that we all know that coauthorship involves both rights and responsibilities. Continue reading


Can a thesis chapter be coauthored?

Image credit: S. Heard.  Hand models: Ken Dearborn, Allyson Heustis (thanks!).


Of course.  Most are, and that’s perfectly appropriate.  But some interesting issues arise. Continue reading

Adventures in coauthorship networks: my Erdős number

Photo: Paul Erdős. (c) Topsy Kretts, CC BY 3.0

Warning: very nerdy.

 Sometimes I get distracted and go down a rabbithole.  Sometimes the result is fun.

I’ve been lucky, over my career, to have a large number of coauthors (some of whom are good friends; but many of whom I’ve never even met).  Coauthorhip makes my work better, but it has other benefits too.  A somewhat abstract one is that it makes me feel that I’m part of something larger than my own research program, or even my own discipline.  I belong (as we all do) to a global and cross-disciplinary network of collaborating scientists.  And to prove it, I have an Erdős numberContinue reading