I am a PhD candidate in strategic management and entrepreneurship developing a new dataset for my dissertation on entrepreneurial ecosystems. I will compile extensive firm-level data on startups and resource maps of regional ecosystems.

My goal is to leverage this dataset for several publications to jumpstart my research career. I plan to pursue my original research questions for the first 1-2 papers.

However, other faculty have expressed interest in also using my dataset for their own projects. I want to collaborate, but am unsure what level of contribution would justify co-authorship.

My questions: As the creator of a novel dataset as a PhD student, what are reasonable expectations for authorship on other papers using this data? What specific activities demonstrate an intellectual contribution significant enough to merit co-authorship? How involved should I be in the research process, writing, and revision? When does reliance on my dataset alone become insufficient for co-authorship? What are effective strategies to proactively negotiate authorship agreements up front?

Any guidance on norms, perspectives, or advice from the community would be greatly appreciated! I want to avoid assumptions and be reasonable in my authorship expectations as an early career researcher. Please let me know if any part of this needs clarifying. Thank you!

  • 1
    I guess I would focus on (1) assemble the data set, (2) write your first few papers, one of which is about that data set itself, then (3) consider allowing others to use the data set on condition of at least referencing your now existing work.
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 18, 2023 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


You (likely with your supervisor as coauthor) could publish information about your dataset in Data in Brief (see link below) or another journal that accepts standalone articles about data. When you make the dataset available to others, create notes to go with it, and in those notes include information about how to cite the dataset by referencing your publication in Data in Brief (or whatever journal you go with). If you take this approach you won't be a coauthor on all the publications that make use of the dataset that you created, but you will get credit for creating it.


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