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Credit where it's due. Just a matter of fairness?

A Panel discussion on January 9, 2023 at the Weizenbaum Institute in Berlin.

We are happy to announce Stephen Curry (Imperial College London / DORA), Amelya Keles (Berlin Exchange Medicine), Jessica Rohmann (Max-Delbrück-Centrum), Cornelia Schendzielorz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Robert Merton Center for Science Studies), Sonja Schimmler (Technische Universität Berlin / Fraunhofer Fokus / Weizenbaum Institute), Bart Verberck (Nature Research, Springer Nature) as members of the panel. The event will be moderated by Manfred Hauswirth (Technische Universität Berlin / Fraunhofer Fokus / Weizenbaum Institute).

  • Date: January 9, 2023, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Venue: Weizenbaum Institute, Hardenbergstr. 32, 10623 Berlin.
  • Follow the discussion via livestream here.
  • After the discussion, participants will have the opportunity to meet the speakers during a small reception.


The recognition of scientific activity is an integral condition for the advancement of academic careers. Criterions for assessing research and researchers are under debate with the intention of creating a fair, transparent, and holistic system for evaluation that levels out biases regarding status, gender, geography and others. To this day, however, the key criterion for assessment and promotion in academia are publications.

Publishing has always been of great importance to the science system. However, recognition of publications as a merit is primarily tied to the recognition of authorship. Over recent years, the concept of traditional authorship has been challenged to better address different disciplinary research and publishing cultures as well as diverse practices to communicate research results. Conflicts about authorship still loom large and are often intertwined with aspects of the research process and assessment practices: Who is first/last author? Which contributions have been made by whom and which ones qualify for authorship? Even though guidelines on good scientific practice or specific recommendations for handling questions regarding authorship exist, these questions are not always easy to answer, even less so when power, hierarchies and dependencies are involved.

Moreover, the debate about holistic assessment has moved beyond publications to recognize the multidimensionality of scholarly work and scholarly output. In addition to the relevance of teaching, to a great extent, this concerns reviewer activities. How does the system reward researchers for engaging in review processes, or rather, does it reward them enough? Which role do publishers play? Is it realistic to expect commercial vendors to implement external measures / taxonomies etc. into their own systems?

This panel will debate the various aspects of crediting in academia ranging from the promotion of young researchers, the equity of activities central to the functioning of academia, and the effects that result from crediting or non-crediting on an individual as well as systemic level. It will furthermore discuss already existing initiatives to promote crediting and steps to take in order to widen their dissemination.

The event is jointly organized by the Berlin University Alliance and its Objective 3 – Advancing Research Quality and Value and the Weizenbaum Institute.