Toward a More Equitable Model of Authorship
The renewed emphasis on advancing science as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (see also National Science Foundation, 2010) only serves to increase the pressure on faculty to mentor undergraduate students conducting research in psychology. There is also an increased expectation that results of scientific investigations with undergraduates will be disseminated through traditional peer-reviewed outlets. Publication of research necessarily requires attention to a multitude of ethical issues. Ethical practices, as they relate to authorship in an undergraduate context, are the central focus of this chapter. Authorship and order of authorship are important and sometimes contentious issues for researchers. Although authorship is already high stakes in a professional context (Bartle, Fink, & Hayes, 2000; Fine & Kurdek, 1993; Geelhoed, Phillips, Fischer, Shpungin, & Gong, 2007; Oberlander & Spencer, 2006; Sandler & Russell, 2005), authorship at the undergraduate level is becoming increasingly important. In this chapter, I begin with a review of those elements of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (American Psychological Association [APA], 2010a; hereinafter referred to as the Ethics Code) that are relevant to evaluating publication credit. I then provide suggestions for a process of ethically determining authorship credit with undergraduate student collaborators.