Chapter 8: Best practices for attribution and use of attribution¶
Individuals include scholars working in academic and non-academic institutions, libraries, industry, etc. Groups include but are not limited to university administrators, and funding agencies.
This draft is part of the Informatics playbook Playbook as a new chapter. Feedback is still be actively solicited and welcomed, given the “living” nature of this communication mode.
Why is this important?¶
It is very difficult to know who is contributing to research and what those contributions are. There has been a fundamental shift to recognize both the interdisciplinary, team-based approach to science, as well as the hundreds and thousands of more fine-grained contributions of varying types and intensities that are necessary to move science forward. Unfortunately, little infrastructure exists to identify, aggregate, present, and (ultimately) assess the impact of these contributions. These significant problems are technical as well as social and require an approach that assimilates cultural and social aspects of these problems in an open and community-driven manner. Ongoing efforts include the development of a contribution role ontology (built on CRedIT through the CRedIT ontology) to support modeling of the significant ways in which the translational workforce contributes to research.
Tracking and providing attribution for diverse contributions across the workforce support giving credit for work, allowing for a better understanding of what skills and activities are needed, and incentivizing participation in research. Moreover, this work helps to support and enhance a collaborative informatics community by fostering and promoting the development of an academic attribution and reimbursement framework for informatics products and processes. These processes could also help facilitate a contribution role that can be used for academic promotion and recognition.
The Contributor Attribution Model is currently under development here. The Contributor Role Ontology (CRO) is released and available for use, with another release before the end of 2019. More information on the CRO is available here.
Architecting Attribution Engagement Page - Provides details on areas where the team is looking for help, how to contribute. This page also shares information about events and provides a call to participants to contribute ideas here, too.
CD2H #Attribution Slack Channel - Project specific channel on Slack’s Instant messaging platform.
Github issues - Interested parties can comment on open issues or contribute their own tickets related to Attribution here.
See the policy developed for the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) project: Attribution and Publication Principles for N3C published on Zenodo - doi 10.5281/zenodo.3992394.
Identify contributors and track any short- or long-term roles on the project.
Establish contributors’ roles in advance.
With respect to authorship, be transparent and clear about expectations and credit.
Use persistent identifiers!
Collect information about contributors as the project is launched and new people join a project.
Incorporate CRediT/Contributor Role Ontology (CRO)/Contribution Attribution Model (CAM) into local workflows.
Provide opportunities for faculty and scholars to communicate their contributor roles on non-paper outputs.
Offer clear guidance on promotion and in faculty tenure documentation on how to incorporate contributor roles into their packet.
Likewise, publishers and funders should provide clear guidance as to how author contributions should be described for maximum effectiveness.
Provide feedback to the CRediT/CRO/CAM to request any missing roles that are not represented in the ontology/data model.
Identify contributors and track any short- or long-term roles on the project. This can be tracked on a project website or a collaborative online document (like a Google doc or a GitHub repository). Project websites offer a way to provide acknowledgment to project collaborators, especially for those who may not be an author on a resulting paper.
Establish contributor’s roles in advance. Define clear expectations of roles and outputs for the project.
With respect to authorship, be transparent and clear about expectations and author order. The ‘Guidelines on Authorship’ from the University of Cambridge state “authorship criteria should be agreed by all investigators at an early stage of the research.” [ref] Project leadership should provide friendly low-pressure opportunities for group and confidential discussions.
Use persistent identifiers! Please refer to the Best Practices Playbook chapter on PID (link) for a more comprehensive discussion on the topic, as well as quick takeaways including ORCID (www.orcid.org) for people and the preferred PID for a given topical domain or research community.
Collect information about contributors as the project is launched and new people join a project. This makes it easier to follow good practices and credit contributions in advance of paper submission or deposit of digital files into a repository. Suggested attributes to collect include: affiliation with the Reserch Organization Registry (ROR), preferred name, ORCID ID, grant numbers.
Incorporate CRediT/Contributor Role Ontology (CRO) (https://data2health.github.io/contributor-role-ontology/) Contribution Attribution Model (CAM) (https://contributor-attribution-model.readthedocs.io/en/latest/) into local workflows. This can be done collaboratively with stakeholders (e.g., thought leaders, system owners, community partners) and should offer opportunities for education about contributor roles, the importance of attribution, as well as provide an opportunity for feedback from stakeholders.
Provide opportunities for faculty and scholars to communicate their contributor roles on non-paper outputs and provide context with their contributor roles on these items. These include study materials, training and educational content, surveys, etc and the specific roles they played in generating these research outputs. See the Contribution Attribution Model (CAM) (https://contributor-attribution-model.readthedocs.io/en/latest/) for more detail.
Offer clear guidance in promotion and tenure documentation to faculty on how to incorporate contributor roles into their packet. If non-traditional scholarly outputs are recognized, these should be mentioned. This should be accompanied by real-life examples.
Likewise, publishers and funders should provide clear guidance as to how author contributions should be described for maximum effectiveness. Many publishers currently use the CRediT taxonomy for describing author roles. We recommend extending this to include the roles in the Contributor Role Ontology.
After using attribution tools and best practices described here, scholars and organizational representatives should provide feedback to the CRediT/CRO/CAM to request any missing roles that are not represented in the ontology/data model. This can be done via our GitHub issue tracker here: https://github.com/data2health/contributor-role-ontology/issues.
Contributors to this guidebook chapter¶
Contributor roles per CRediT or CRO
Nicole Vasilevsky, Oregon Health Science University, 0000-0001-5208-3432, CREDIT_00000013 writing original draft role
Lisa O’Keefe, Northwestern University, 0000-0003-1211-7583, CRO:0000065 project management role
Kristi Holmes, Northwestern University, 0000-0001-8420-5254, CREDIT_00000013 writing original draft role
CRediT - Contributor Roles Taxonomy. CASRAI.
Papers: Ilik V, Conlon M, Triggs G, White M, Javed M, Brush M, Gutzman K Essaid S, Friedman P, Porter S, Szomszor M, Haendel MA, Eichmann D and Holmes KL (2018) OpenVIVO: Transparency in Scholarship. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 2:12. doi: 10.3389/frma.2017.00012
Pierce HH, Dev A, Statham E, Bierer BE. Credit data generators for data reuse. Nature. 2019 Jun;570(7759):30-32. doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-01715-4. PubMed PMID: 31164773. Available at Nature
Presentations: Credit Statement for the Force2019 Architecting Attribution Poster. DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, 2019. [doi:10.18131/g3-njgs-g416]((https://digitalhub.northwestern.edu/files/91c26739-87b5-407d-a1be-0f3a609a607a)
How to Enhance Attribution to Make More Meaningful Connections for Everyone to Their Roles, Work, & Impact. DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, 2019. [doi:10.18131/g3-y9vt-7376]((https://digitalhub.northwestern.edu/files/d08374e9-0411-4450-a0d1-4979c69ed3e7)
People + Technology + Data + Credit: Developing a Sustainable Community-driven Approach to Attribution. DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, 2019. doi:10.18131/g3-vs3n-ry93
Team Scientists: How Do We Enable Everyone to Get Credit for Their Work?. DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, 2019. doi:10.18131/g3-9q7s-5y55
Giving Credit Where It Is Due: How to Make More Meaningful Connections Between People, Their Roles, Their Work and Impacts. DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, 2018. doi:10.18131/g3-kqrj-z731
The Informatics of Attribution: a story of culture + technology in “New Ways of Counting Researcher Contribution” panel at the Society for Scholarly Publishing meeting. Washington, DC. 25 Sept 2018. Panel members: Casey Greene, Integrative Genomics Lab, University of Pennsylvania; Dina Paltoo, National Institutes of Health; Kristi Holmes, Northwestern University; and Vincent Lariviere, PhD, University of Montreal. Available at https://digitalhub.northwestern.edu/files/3db5f470-c519-46a9-9df3-357cf5d69a28
Understanding & Enabling Impact in the (with the) Community. Transforming Research Conference, Brown University, Providence, RI. 4 October 2018. Available at https://digitalhub.northwestern.edu/files/c6f785cf-f992-44ea-9905-ab4316181d91
Giving credit where it is due: how to make more meaningful connections between people, their roles, their work and impacts. FORCE2018, Montreal, Canada. 11 October 2018. Available here
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences CTSA Program Center for Data to Health (Grant U24TR002306).