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Ten simple rules for collaboratively writing a multi-authored paper
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2018 (English)In: PloS Computational Biology, ISSN 1553-734X, E-ISSN 1553-7358, Vol. 14, no 11, article id e1006508Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Science is increasingly done in large teams, making it more likely that papers will be written by several authors from different institutes, disciplines, and cultural backgrounds. A small number of “Ten simple rules” papers have been written on collaboration and on writing but not on combining the two. Collaborative writing with multiple authors has additional challenges, including varied levels of engagement of coauthors, provision of fair credit through authorship or acknowledgements, acceptance of a diversity of work styles, and the need for clear communication. Miscommunication, a lack of leadership, and inappropriate tools or writing approaches can lead to frustration, delay of publication, or even the termination of a project.

To provide insight into collaborative writing, we use our experience from the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) to frame 10 simple rules for collaboratively writing a multi-authored paper. We consider a collaborative multi-authored paper to have three or more people from at least two different institutions. A multi-authored paper can be a result of a single discrete research project or the outcome of a larger research program that includes other papers based on common data or methods. The writing of a multi-authored paper is embedded within a broader context of planning and collaboration among team members. Our recommended rules include elements of both the planning and writing of a paper, and they can be iterative, although we have listed them in numerical order. It will help to revisit the rules frequently throughout the writing process. With the 10 rules outlined below, we aim to provide a foundation for writing multi-authored papers and conducting exciting and influential science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 14, no 11, article id e1006508
Keywords [en]
collaboration, multi-authored paper, co-authorship
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-367047DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006508ISI: 000451835900014PubMedID: 30439938OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-367047DiVA, id: diva2:1266312
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04153German Research Foundation (DFG), SP 1570/1-1Available from: 2018-11-27 Created: 2018-11-27 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.

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