Field guide to coauthors

The EEB and Flow has a very funny and more-than-a-little-true field guide to coauthors. Check it out!

I’m reminded of Noah Smith’s beastiary of economics blog trolls (also very funny, although only if you read economics blogs).

5 thoughts on “Field guide to coauthors

  1. I know it’s just for fun but still an interesting (sexist?) choice of male/female representatives in the pictures that accompany each co-author type…. I wonder to what extent men and women have different co-authorship styles in reality

    • Re: the choice of male/female cartoons to illustrate each co-author type, you’d have to ask the folks over at EEB and Flow for their thoughts on this. Personally, I don’t see any evidence of sexism here. Worth noting that the post was written by a female student, and the cartoons were drawn by another female student. Also worth noting that, of the 8 cartoons, three have no gender. Of the remaining ones, one is male because it’s a cartoon of a Hitler-like character, an instantly-recognizable “grammar Nazi”. The other four depict male generals, a female cheerleader, a female nurse, and a male sage. Those four are depicted as the genders of the people stereotypically thought of as occupying those professions*, not the genders of the sorts of scientists who stereotypically exhibit those co-authorship styles. For instance, Caroline concludes the post by referring to her male supervisor Marc Cadotte as both “cheerleader” and “sage”.

      I don’t know if men and women have different “co-authorship styles” in reality. I would not be inclined to generalize in the absence of data, and probably not even in the presence of data (since any generalization would have many exceptions).

      *EDIT: and in noting this, I do NOT mean to accuse the post authors of sexism in their depiction of generals, cheerleaders, nurses, and sages. Two female students wrote a fun post and illustrated it with some fun cartoons, half of which don’t even really have a gender at all. Personally, I don’t see anything to worry about here.

    • Hi Sal – interesting comment. I can say that I don’t think there is any particular gender-correlated difference between coauthor types, and I hope the text doesn’t suggest otherwise. I can’t really speak for Lanna Jin, who did the illustrations, but I think they were basically just meant to capture particular archetypes and the genders are not meant to be informative. And one picture is a horse, but I don’t think we’re really commenting on how all horses act as coauthors. 🙂
      Personally, I certainly don’t think that male and female coauthors really differ (my experience certainly doesn’t support this). But still, as a woman in academia I obviously think it’s important to avoid gender stereotypes (!), so I appreciate your feedback.

      • And you know, as a post thrown together in a couple of hours, I wouldn’t read too much of anything into it…
        (especially if you’ve written a paper with me. i swear it’s not about you!) 😉

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