Authors without Borders: Guidelines for Discussing Authorship with Collaborators

This publication is the result of a project led by Dena K. Plemmons serving as principal investigator (PI), with Stephanie J. Bird and the late Dan Vasgird as co-PIs. At the data analysis stage, Dr. Mohammad Hosseini joined Drs. Plemmons and Bird to contribute to data analysis/synthesis and report writing.

Peer discussion groups were conducted with researchers – senior and junior scholars and post-docs – in Brazil, Germany, China and the United States to assess perceptions and experiences of authorship issues in their research collaborations. The information gleaned in these peer discussion groups was used to develop a survey which was then disseminated to all of Sigma Xi’s chapters across the globe, having been translated into six different languages.

The result was over 2,500 responses which were used, along with existing literature, to write Authors Without Borders: Guidelines for Discussing Authorship with Collaborators.




In 2015, the Graduate Division was awarded an NSF funded Institutional Transformation research grant entitled "Institutional Re-engineering of Ethical Discourse in STEM [iREDS]".  Read the compelling results here in this PNAS publication. 

PNAS article


The National Center for Principled Leadership and Research Ethics has made this approach a key part of the leadership development curriculum they are developing for investigators and trainees at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr Plemmons, the Director of the Research Ethics Education Program, serves as an expert consultant on the creation of the curriculum. 


The Dean of the Graduate Division convened a DHHS/ORI funded UC wide workshop to explore issues of international students and RCR education; find the final report here.



The Director of the Research Ethics Education Program was the PI for two funded NSF workshops:

The workshop is designed to identify and share best practices in the implementation of robust educational programming for responsible and ethical conduct of research [RECR].... 

This workshop explores the scientific and ethical implications of open science initiatives and calls for research transparency for understandings of "data" in qualitative social science research....

and for an NSF funded research project examining authorship practices in international, multidisciplinary collaborations:

This cross-national study of authorship norms and of conflict surrounding issues of scientific authorship will develop a social survey for national and international dissemination across a wide array of scientific disciplines...