If you have developed an academic career, you have probably heard that signing of research papers is usually a controversial issue. There is a kind of hierarchy that allows distinguishing the different types of researchers that participate in a scientific team: graduate or undergraduate students, research engineers and hired people in general, team leaders… However, there is no rule governing whose job is to publish the results gathered by the team. And who should appear as their author? The one who found the problem? Or the one who posed a solution? Or even the one who implemented it?
On the other hand, whenever you watch a movie, either at the beginning or at the end of the film you are precisely informed of who was the author of the story, the supporting actors, the producer, etc. The same happens with novels and many other kinds of art in general.
So, why not benefit from the above described technique to bring light to research papers signing? This is the idea we have introduced in the article “What Science can Learn from the Arts: Some Thoughts about Author Order in Research Papers” that has been just published in CACM Viewpoints (Vol. 55 (9), September 2012, pp. 39-41).
What is your view? Is this just a too provoking idea? We invite you to have a look and let us know your opinion …