Tracking & Crediting Nano-Contributions Within Research Networks


  1. Change the academic culture in a way that recognizes and credits the full range of contributions, even when they are comparatively small
  2. Provide a more enticing career pathway for specialists in academic software, data, design in academia — reducing brain drain to the private sector
  3. Improve long-term sustainability of academic software and data projects


Danil Mikhailov
Yo Yehudi
Yo Yehudi
Wellcome Trust – Data for Science & Health

Description & Deliverables

How do we better credit the full range of contributions, including narrow but important contributions to research such as survey design, creation of software, data science, or design of graphs used in a paper? The primary aim of this project is to highlight the often uncredited but important contributions of more junior members of the team, encouraging them to develop expertise and even specialties in particular tasks (e.g., being the go-to person for graph design). We will also demonstrate how to map nano-contributions across a network to visualize connections and promote further collaboration.


  • A use case that maps, visualizes, and connects nano-contributions within one or more research programs in the epidemiology/infectious diseases disciplines, with a focus on software/data science/survey design
  • Recommended incentives and credit mechanisms based on insights from the case study (in close coordination with existing groups such as the Research Software Alliance)
  • Influencing and marketing strategies aimed at funders and centers of excellence that promote recognition of the recommended credit system

What’s Needed

  • Access to one or more research programs in the epidemiology/infectious diseases space willing to provide data to track contributions
  • Mapping vocabulary and technologies for identifying and tracking nano-contributions
  • Expertise in the funding and institutional sectors to strategize their recognition of an alternative credit system


Jessica Polka, Sarah Greene, Wyatt Korff, Kristen Ratan