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Title: Inflated numbers of authors over time have not been just due to increasing research complexity
Authors: Papatheodorou, Stefania 
Trikalinos, Thomas A. 
Ioannidis, John P. A. 
Keywords: Author
Case reports
Nonrandomized studies
Randomized trials
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Source: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2008, Volume 61, Issue 6, Pages 546-551
Abstract: Objective: To examine trends in and determinants of the number of authors in clinical studies. Study Design and Setting: We analyzed determinants of the number of authors in 633 articles of randomized trials and 313 articles of nonrandomized studies included in large meta-analyses (seven and six topics, respectively). Analyses were adjusted for topic. We also evaluated 310 randomly sampled case reports that had an abstract and described a single case. Results: After adjusting for topic and other determinants, for both randomized trials and nonrandomized studies, the number of authors increased by 0.8 per decade (P < 0.001). Topic was a strong determinant of the number of authors; other independent factors included journal impact factor, multinational authorship, and (for randomized trials) article length and sample size. Trials from South Europe (+1.1 authors) and North America (+0.9) and nonrandomized studies from South Europe (+1.8) had more authors than studies from North Europe (P < 0.001). For case reports, only geographic location and article length were significantly related with author numbers. Conclusion: The number of authors in articles of randomized and nonrandomized studies has increased over time, even after adjusting for the topic, size, and visibility of a study. The academic coinage of authorship may be suffering from inflation.
ISSN: 0895-4356
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2007.07.017
Rights: © Elsevier Inc.
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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