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Credit where credit's due : developing authorship strategies at the Journal of Maps

By Mike J. Smith, Colm J. Jordan and Jenny C. Walsby


This paper briefly reviews the processes for crediting input to published research and\ud survey work, highlighting some of the deficiencies that this introduces. This forms the basis\ud for describing strategies introduced at the Journal of Maps to provide a greater level of\ud flexibility and granularity in allocating authorship credit. This is illustrated using the British\ud Geological Survey’s (BGS) 1:625,000 Bedrock Geology Map of the United Kingdom as an\ud example. As organizations seek to professionalize the workplace, they are increasingly under\ud pressure to both enhance the skills base of their staff and subsequently measure the value that\ud each individual contributes to the performance of the organization. As a result, it is common\ud for many staff to undergo an annual appraisal of their performance, measured against the\ud criteria for their position. Within academic and research institutions the publication of the\ud outputs of work are considered the primary method of dissemination and is a key measure of\ud “performance” as it is easy to quantify. Whilst, at its simplest, this can be calculated as the\ud number of publications produced by an individual, such a measure is fairly crude in that it\ud does not take in to account the authorship position or the “quality” of the publication outlet.\ud It is also possible to measure the “impact” of a publication through the number of citations it\ud receives, although this does not necessarily equate to the quality or significance of the work.\ud Outputs such as maps, databases and digital models that do not conform to these usual\ud academic measures are less easy to measure using performance indicators. Authorship is also\ud difficult to quantify for work that is not directly related to the academic content of a\ud publication; for example cartographers and database programmers are integral to the\ud production of a geological map yet may receive no formal credit for their input

Year: 2009
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