thinking about collaborations


A lot of academic work is collaborative. It’s a fine irony then that academics are generally managed, promoted and audited as individuals. Citation measures like google scholar are a prime example – publications are seen as solo affairs, even when most of the work that is represented in an H index is the result of team work.

But teams are often organised hierarchically. Pyramid team structures can lead to a load of issues, not least of which is who takes credit for ideas, who gets acknowledged in publications, and how authorship is managed. Yes, there are principles and guides for how to manage collaboration, but you only have to read social media for a few days to know that those at the top of team trees don’t always abide by the authoring/recognition rules.

I’ve been wondering what would happen if we regularly thought out loud about team work and collaboration…

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