Hyper Authorship Increases Exponentially in Global Projects

A new trend referred to as hyper authorship has been becoming more popular in recent times especially in projects that involves researches from different nations. More than hundred and even thousands of people can author a work. This trend started with CERN, the Europe’s particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland due to their huge collaborative research projects especially in particle and nuclear physics usually with works having up to a thousand author.

The Web of Science (WoS) that is been run by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), a part of Clarivate Analytics, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recently found out in the study of millions of articles that, research papers having more than a thousand authors have been doubled in the past half a decade. According to the report, only 573 manuscripts were published having more than 1,000 co-authors between 2009 and 2013 but it has risen to 1,315 manuscripts in the past 5 years. This study by ISI also discovered that authors on a project coming from different countries, although still rare, is on the increase. The reason for this surge is mostly because there are now projects that involves collaborations across many nations. Also, between 2009-2013, only one manuscript was received by WoS with authors from over 60 countries, meanwhile, 49 papers with authors from over 60 countries were received between 2014 and 2018 with about 33 with authors from 80 different countries.

Martin Szomszor, the head of research analytics at the ISI, said ‘’What a lot of people think about when they hear about hyper authorship is CERN’’, he also said there is an increase in the past five years in hyper authorship in other fields such as climate change and global epidemiology. In 2017, an analysis of body-mass index by the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration that was published in The Lancet has over 1,000 authors from over 100 countries. Szomszor said, ‘’it’s the type of research where global data is required’’

An information scientist at the University of Montreal in Canada, Vincent Larivière said that ‘’I’m not surprised about the increase in fields other than particle physics. The important thing for me is that the contribution of researchers, irrespective of their rank in the academic hierarchy, is recognized and credited’’. He believes that these shows that global collaboration among researchers is increasing and that is a good thing.

Szomszor also believes that this increase will continue over the next five years and more fields will keep involving many researchers from many nations on a work together. Topics such as poverty and sustainability from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are also more likely to make this hyper authorship more possible and common in the future.

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