Clear policies that allow for transparency around who contributed to the work and in what capacity should be in place for requirements for authorship and contributorship as well as processes for managing potential disputes. Periodically, COPE gets requests for the development of discussion documents, guidance and flowcharts on publication ethics issues related to book publishing. Many of our members publish both journals and books, and a number of these members reference COPE guidance on journal publishing and ethics as providing useful information on particular topics related to research and publication ethics. This month the news includes articles on predatory publishing, diversity and inclusion, peer review, and more. Three of the top five most read cases on the COPE website in were related to authorship issues:. An author affiliated with a research institution R published two papers as a single author, one of them in a journal of publisher A.
The Ethics of Manuscript Authorship: Best Practices for Attribution
Unethical practices in authorship of scientific papers
Although the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors has published clear guidance on the authorship of scientific papers, short-term contract research workers, who perform much of the research that is reported in the biomedical literature, are often at a disadvantage in terms of recognition, reward and career progression. This article identifies several professional, ethical and operational issues associated with the assignment of authorship, describes how a university department of primary care set about identifying and responding to the concerns of its contract research staff on authorship and describes a set of guidelines that were produced to deal with the ethical and professional issues raised. These guidelines include directions on how authorship should be negotiated and allocated and how short-term researchers can begin to develop as authors. They also deal with the structures required to support an equitable system, which deals with the needs of short-term researchers in ways that are realistic in the increasingly competitive world of research funding and publication, and may offer a model for more formal guidelines that could form part of institutional research policy. Abstract Although the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors has published clear guidance on the authorship of scientific papers, short-term contract research workers, who perform much of the research that is reported in the biomedical literature, are often at a disadvantage in terms of recognition, reward and career progression.
There are no universally accepted standards for assigning authorship, and principles, customs and practices differ significantly from one discipline to another. Responsibility for decisions regarding the authorship of publications lies with those who carried out the work reported in the publication. Researchers should be aware of the authorship practices within their own disciplines and should always abide by any requirements stipulated by journals as part of their instructions to authors. Where no journal or discipline-specific norms apply, authorship criteria should be agreed by all investigators at an early stage of the research.
We need to transform the academic system so that integrity and honesty are the norm in terms of authorship as well as data and results. S cientists are meant to be scrupulously honest and objective. Acting unethically or misrepresenting information could spell the end of a career. Too often, researchers attach their names to reports when they have contributed nothing at all to the work. The problem gets worse the higher up the academic ladder you go.