Author: Rafael Repiso – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion- Universidad Nacional de Loja, Ecuador

Collaborating with colleagues in the development of a research is a dynamic not without complications, which if done correctly allows to obtain scientific results of greater relevance and scope. An author collaborates with others for several reasons.

  • Complementarity. It is expected that when a researcher collaborates with another, he or she does so because there are unique aspects that each can contribute to the work, complementing each other. Therefore, the resulting work is the product of the best abilities of each author. It is very good and recommended to publish with authors with other scientific profiles and complementary to one’s own. Ideal Motive.
    • Learning. A form of complementarity, although unidirectional, is to collaborate with great researchers that surpass the main author of the work, since it is a guarantee of the quality of the manuscript. In fact, the first works are normally done with the thesis director and have a pedagogical purpose. The senior author is more concerned with the correctness and quality of the work than with making his own contribution and he also puts his prestige on the work. Adequate motivation.
    • Division of work. A more humane reason is the simple division of work, but not because there are specialized authors, but because the division allows for a reduction in the time required to carry out the research. It is common for authors from the same area or department of specialization to collaborate with each other to produce more works with less effort. This is not so ideal.
    • Phantom co-authorship. Either by exchange of favors, by trying that the prestige of the phantom author influences the article or by a wrong concept of the ethics of the scientific work. Adding authors who have not collaborated in the work does not add value to the article, on the contrary, it reduces the credit and individual contributions of each one and may even be subject to criticism and future problems (See Valery Fabrikant’s history). Regrettable reason.

Then, and specifically, why is it desirable to work with international co-authors?

If the work is executed correctly, international collaboration can make a difference for several reasons:

  1. It provides a different and complementary view of the problem, which enriches the work.
  2. It helps us to contextualize the work for a wider audience, providing the theoretical aspects of two different regions.
  3. In the case of Anglo-Saxon authors, it facilitates the publication of the work in high impact journals, which are eminently Anglo-Saxon «market» and therefore closer and more familiar to our co-author.
  4. Once the article is published, its visibility increases, as it adds its social contacts to the target audience, complementing its own.
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