January 25, 2023
A recently published survey study of Ph.D. students reveals that an ethically questionable culture for assigning authorships to research papers is widespread within the medical and natural sciences across Europe.
Under the hashtag #pleasedontstealmywork, dozens of Danish Ph.D. students shared their experiences last spring concerning powerful researchers who use their position to gain co-authorships on papers to which they have not made a significant contribution.
A new international study led by researchers from the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) and the Department of Science Education (IND) at the University of Copenhagen now shows that these stories were only the tip of the iceberg.
"There are major differences across faculties, but our study shows that around a third of all Ph.D. students working in five different European countries have granted a co-authorship to a more powerful researcher, even though the person had not made a significant contribution to the study," says Mads Paludan Goddiksen, postdoc at IFRO, and first author of the study.