Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How Many Research Scientists Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Really, I do not get the multiple authorship thing. The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence (Dawson, Soulières, Gernsbacher, and Mottron, 2007) is about as simple as a research report gets, and The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence Revisited (Bölte, Dziobek, and Poustka, 2009) is an easy replication of a simple research report. Why the hell would those things require a boatload of authors? If I asked my son to write a thank you letter, and he told me he needed three colleagues to help him complete the task, I would send him to his room without supper.

And if the response is that grown-up research is somehow different, that certain “political” factors must be taken into account, then allow me to point out that several of the authors involved in the above-referenced papers are frequent champions for standards of science and ethics in autism research; but I fail to see anything scientific, or ethical, about piled-on authorship.

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