Research can be understood as taking place in discrete stages or chunks – at each stage, scientists can be considered as having three choices:

  1. Integration (develop two stages, then publish);
  2. Collaboration (bring in others with complementary skills for stage 2, then publish);
  3. Publication (publish first, then wait to be cited by those who pursue the second stage)

Integration means receiving all the credit, but scientists must balance this against potential costs of acquiring the knowledge and accessing relevant technology

Collaboration involve tradeoffs between the benefits of additional resources (expertise and technology) and costs of how credit is allocated and shared.

Publication involve citation markets providing an alternative form of credit – in the form of citation and acknowledgement that may itself be valued by researchers and those who evaluate them.