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Inventorship and authorship as attribution rights: An enquiry into the economics of scientific credit

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Authorship and inventorship contribute to the reputation of individual scientists and are distributed across several individuals, due to the importance of teamwork in both science and technology. For academic teams that both publish and patent their research results, we compare the social and legal norms that affect the negotiation over the distribution of authorship and inventorship. We use text-mining techniques to identify 680 "patent-publication pairs" (related sets of patents and publications), for a sample of Italian academic scientists. On average, the number of co-authors is larger than the number of co-inventors, especially in medical-related fields. First and last authors have a lower probability of being excluded from inventorship. However, the probability of exclusion also declines with seniority, as expected from social norms. Women have a significant higher probability to be excluded, other things being equal. Long-lasting doubts on the reliability of authorship as a tool for allocating scientific credit are reinforced, and can be extended to inventorship. Results for attribution rights in science, as we obtain here, raise questions and provide insights on other settings in which attribution rights are both relevant and distributed within teams.

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  • Lissoni, Francesco & Fabio, Montobbio, 2012. "Inventorship and authorship as attribution rights: An enquiry into the economics of scientific credit," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201221, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:201221
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    Cited by:

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    2. Dorte Henriksen, 2016. "The rise in co-authorship in the social sciences (1980–2013)," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 107(2), pages 455-476, May.
    3. Feldman, Maryann & Kenney, Martin & Lissoni, Francesco, 2015. "The New Data Frontier," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1629-1632.
    4. Damioli, Giacomo & Van Roy, Vincent & Vertesy, Daniel & Vivarelli, Marco, 2021. "Will the AI revolution be labour-friendly? Some micro evidence from the supply side," MERIT Working Papers 2021-016, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Damioli, Giacomo & Van Roy, Vincent & Vertesy, Daniel & Vivarelli, Marco, 2021. "May AI Revolution Be Labour-Friendly? Some Micro Evidence from the Supply Side," IZA Discussion Papers 14309, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Valentina Tartari & Francesco Di Lorenzo & Benjamin A. Campbell, 2020. "“Another roof, another proof”: the impact of mobility on individual productivity in science," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 276-303, February.
    7. Hottenrott, Hanna & Lawson, Cornelia, 2017. "Fishing for complementarities: Research grants and research productivity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-38.
    8. Stéphane Maraut & Catalina Martínez, 2014. "Identifying author–inventors from Spain: methods and a first insight into results," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 101(1), pages 445-476, October.
    9. Melero, Eduardo & Palomeras, Neus, 2012. "The renaissance of the "renaissance man"? : specialists vs. generalists in teams of inventors," INDEM - Working Paper Business Economic Series id-12-01, Instituto para el Desarrollo Empresarial (INDEM).
    10. Olof Ejermo & John Källström, 2016. "What is the causal effect of R&D on patenting activity in a “professor’s privilege” country? Evidence from Sweden," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 677-694, October.
    11. Joshua Gans & Fiona Murray, 2014. "Markets for Scientific Attribution," NBER Working Papers 20677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. IKEUCHI Kenta & MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki & TAMURA Ryuichi & TSUKADA Naotoshi, 2017. "Measuring Science Intensity of Industry using Linked Dataset of Science, Technology and Industry," Discussion papers 17056, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Giacomo Damioli & Vincent Van Roy & Daniel Vertesy & Marco Vivarelli, 2021. "Detecting the labour-friendly nature of AI product innovation," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Politica Economica dipe0017, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    14. Mark Bukowski & Sandra Geisler & Thomas Schmitz-Rode & Robert Farkas, 2020. "Feasibility of activity-based expert profiling using text mining of scientific publications and patents," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 123(2), pages 579-620, May.
    15. Zwick, Thomas & Frosch, Katharina & Hoisl, Karin & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2017. "The power of individual-level drivers of inventive performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 121-137.
    16. Michaël Bikard & Fiona Murray & Joshua S. Gans, 2015. "Exploring Trade-offs in the Organization of Scientific Work: Collaboration and Scientific Reward," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(7), pages 1473-1495, July.
    17. Gema Lax Martínez & Julio Raffo & Kaori Saito, 2016. "Identifying the Gender of PCT inventors," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 33, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
    18. Carolin Haeussler & Henry Sauermann, 2016. "The Division of Labor in Teams: A Conceptual Framework and Application to Collaborations in Science," NBER Working Papers 22241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Van Roy, Vincent & Vértesy, Dániel & Vivarelli, Marco, 2018. "Technology and employment: Mass unemployment or job creation? Empirical evidence from European patenting firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1762-1776.
    20. Melero, Eduardo & Palomeras, Neus, 2015. "The Renaissance Man is not dead! The role of generalists in teams of inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 154-167.

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    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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