Here is an argument I had with my supervisor just now. My PhD field is biological science and there's this myth (or partially fact) that adding famous researcher onto author list will make scientific paper to be stronger and easier to publish. I am proposing a new research proposal for grant procurement and I would love to invite a famous researcher to join us so we could have higher chance to get published into top tier journals. While I did not have a lot of problems in publication during my PhD study without adding famous researcher onto author list, most of the papers published were not top tier journals. My supervisor is against that idea because she thinks it's better for us to work with researchers in our institution circle to ascertain that we can control everything without involvement from other institution overseas.
Is it true that adding famous researcher onto author list makes your paper stronger and easier for publication into top tier journal?
Your supervisor is right. You are wrong!!
If this person is going to add value to your research through their ideas, knowledge, and experience- then you should consider seeing if they wish to collaborate.
If not, then:
- You are making any grant application more expensive (so potentially less fundable) for no reason!
- You are going down the road of 'gift' authorship- which is just wrong!
Sounds like an ideal way for someone to take all the credit for your work! The ‘famous name’ would have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Why would you want to devalue yourself by diluting the perceived contribution you’ve made? I’m not an expert but seems daft to me. The research is either publishable or it’s not. If it is, get the kudos for yourself, don’t give it away!
I agree with what others have said here. Ask WHY the famous person is getting published in top tier journals. Maybe it is to do with the quality of their work and writing. Read their work and aim for that kind of quality yourself - then you should be able to publish in the same journals. Peer review is meant to be anonymous (although sometimes it is obvious to a reviewer who it is).
I think the post just may be poorly worded... I think they are suggesting to add an experienced researcher to a grant to increase their chances of getting funding or collaborate with them to use their expertise and in the end, get better quality science to publish in top journals. This seems like a good route to follow if you ask me, and is usual practice. It's often easier to win funding if grants are interdisciplinary and multi institution. Costs don't come in to if they are justified.
They aren't suggesting that they will do the work and then just add a famous author to the paper who hasn't done anything.
I agree with TreeofLife, as the OP said they'd like to invite an experienced research to join (which I take as collaboration in the writing/editing process). Even though it's a blind peer review submission in the end, an experienced researcher will undoubtedly be able to strengthen the paper and point out any faults, which makes the peer review process much less of a headache and quicker through the pipeline for publishing. I don't see anything that you'll lose. It's also good for networking at conferences, as you'd gain some respect for publishing with someone who is already known in the field.
It would be useful if you could get someone who produces top tier stuff / has a fab publication record to look at your paper before submitting it. This might accomplish what it is you are really looking for here. Is there anyone in your department / who your supervisors collaborate with who fits the bill and wouldn't mind looking over it? This is pretty common practice and might make more sense then asking someone to collaborate when they aren't contributing something substantial other than giving pointers on how to increase the quality.
Ps. That is if you are looking for increased quality of paper and better chances of publication as opposed to someone collaborating because of a specific contribution they will make to the research process. (I had interpreted it as the former given the title of the thread).
I think ToL is being rather generous here. It may be poor wording but no reference is made to improving the quality of science whilst there are several mentions of the supposed quality of the journal. There is a tendency for scientists to assume that being published in a good journal somehow miraculously makes your science better than that published in lower ranked journals but this is patently not true. I am happy for the original poster to correct me here but it looks like an unhealthy obsession with impact factors and securing funding to me. Trying to get a famous scientist on board for the sole purpose of securing either high impact factors or funding is transparently manipulative and ethically suspect at best but it's up to individuals to decide how to pursue their own careers.
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