Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How many of your co-authors have you actually met?

In my meandering career from academia to government to private sector, and back into all the grey areas in between, I've been an author on a few journal articles, government reports, and other publications. Usually, these are collaborations between groups of separated people, not all of whom interact with every other member of the team.  For example, in the academic literature, I have a total of 21 co-authors, of whom I have met 9.  If we include government reports as well as papers, then I have 42 co-authors, of whom I have met 17.  I find it interesting that this ratio is so similar between the two types of reporting (about 40%).  So I was wondering: for those of you who read this blog and publish, is your ratio about the same?

5 comments:

Schlupp said...

A total of 78, of whom I met 59, about three quarters.

(Whether I would recognize all 59 were I to meet them again, is a different question.)

Anonymous said...

That sounds very weird to me.
I have about 40 co-authors and I've met all of them.

Chuck said...

Anonymous, do you work on really big projects with a lot of people? I'm guessing, for example, that you haven't been on a multi-agency paper where you are not the liaison person, or an oceanographic or space mission paper...

Isotopic said...

Hi Chuck,

Depends on whether you break it out by papers I'm the lead author on or am a secondary collaborator. I've met everyone that I've published with as a lead author, but for those projects that I take a secondary/tertiary role, there are a good 10-20% that I've never met. I'm very early career so I expect that percentage to increase.

EliRabett said...

So Eli is sitting in the office of some guy and we are talking as science types do about what we are doing. Seems awfully familiar to both of us until reality dawns, we are co-authors on two papers through a mutual friend.....