Credit and Respect

You can tell what people respect by what they’re willing to give others credit for doing. Which brings me to the most recent version of the ACM’s criteria for authorship:

Anyone listed as Author on an ACM manuscript submission must meet all the following criteria:

  • they have made substantial intellectual contributions to some components of the original work described in the manuscript; and
  • they have participated in drafting and/or revision of the manuscript and
  • they are aware the manuscript has been submitted for publication; and
  • they agree to be held accountable for any issues relating to correctness or integrity of the work.

Other contributors may be acknowledged at the end of the paper, before the bibliography.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how many interviews you conduct, how much software you write, or how much data you analyze: if you don’t write words, you can’t be listed as an author. It’s trivial to get around this, of course—you can always have a contributor draft a few sentences that are then “revised” into shape—but it still rankles that the blue-collar parts of computer science aren’t respected enough to count for credit.

In the wake of posts about Shopify's support for white nationalists and DataCamp's attempts to cover up sexual harassment
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