To Co-Author or Not?

Sian Brannon (she, her, hers), the Associate Dean for Collection Management at University of North Texas Libraries, has been in libraries since the 1990s. She has worked in public, academic, and technical libraries, but likes her home library the best. Her research interests include supervision/leadership, internships, assessment, Fear of Negative Evaluation, and randomly, the Technology Acceptance Model. She edits Public Services Quarterly, and is an adjunct professor for Technical Services/Research Methods courses.

Dr. Catherine Sassen (she, her, hers) is Principal Catalog Librarian at the University of North Texas. She has published and presented on cataloging, indexing, assessment, career development, and mentoring.

Scholarly research gives us insight into the future of libraries.  However, collaborative research projects may crash and burn if not well planned.  Learn how to choose team members, facilitate collaboration and organize all the elements of a project to create a successful publication or presentation.  Also included are administrative responsibilities, thoughts on handling problems, examples of delineating responsibilities. 

There are multiple reasons to collaborate on scholarship – use others’ expertise, mentorship, reinforce accountability, and get motivated. Also, research indicates that there is a higher acceptance rate for multi-authored papers than single-authored papers. However, there are things to look out for in choosing collaborators – consider compatible work habits, receptivity to criticism, and commitment to fulfill responsibilities.

There are also multiple decisions to be made. These include where to publish, in what order authors’ names will appear, and how the manuscripts will be written. Who will coordinate? Who will write what? Who will revise?

Technology can be used to facilitate collaboration, and everyone should be aware of relevant deadlines. This poster presentation will also cover how to address problems – missed deadlines, less-than-stellar quality, how to say “no” in the future, and what to do if YOU are the problem collaborator.

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