The ethics of multiple authorship: Power, performativity and the gift economy

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Abstract

The allocation of authorship credit in academic publication raises complex ethical issues but is comparatively under-researched, particularly in the social sciences. The paper analyses the results of research into attitudes to multiple authorship based on a survey questionnaire of academics working in education faculties in universities in Hong Kong. The results illustrate the way in which intellectual contribution is often overridden by considerations related to hierarchical power relations, notably in relation to research project leadership and doctoral supervision. These considerations normalize a gift economy. Belief in the legitimacy of power ordering and gift ordering of academic contributions to multiple authored publications indicate the need for research universities to pay more regard to institutional policies on scholarly authorship. Copyright © 2015 The Author. Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1194-1210
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume42
Issue number7
Early online dateOct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Citation

Macfarlane, B. (2017). The ethics of multiple authorship: Power, performativity and the gift economy. Studies in Higher Education, 42(7), 1194-1210. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1085009

Keywords

  • Authorship
  • Collaborative work
  • Academic ethics
  • Performativity

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