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Credit History

Credit History

The Changing Nature of Scientific Credit

(p.107) 4 Credit History
The Changing Frontier
Joshua S. GansFiona Murray
University of Chicago Press

This paper considers the role of the allocation of scientific credit in determining the organization of science. This chapter examines changes in that organization and the nature of credit allocation in the past half century. The chapter contributes a formal model of that organizational choice that considers scientist decisions to integrate, collaborate or publish and how credit could be allocated to foster efficient outcomes. First, initial focus is on the economic and sociological perspectives on the nature of scientific credit. Then, perspectives are developed on the core organizational choices made by scientists as a way of motivating the central importance of scientific credit in the ways in which knowledge production is organized. Finally, this chapter presents the “credit history” – how the institutions and norms of scientific credit have changed over the past fifty years. This is done by exploring three debates that have animated the scientific community over the past fifty years. Building on the qualitative insights from the past fifty years, this chapter lay out a formal model that places credit allocation alongside the changing technical costs and knowledge burden of research to explore the relative importance of these three factors.

Keywords:   credit, rewards, citation, coauthorship, Matthew effect

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