New Developments in Publishing Related to Authorship

Open access


Aim: To present the inappropriate types of authorship and practice, and the most recent developments related to basic principles and criteria to a fair system for allocating authorship in scientific publications.

Methods: An analysis of relevant materials and documents, sources from the internet and published literature and personal experience and observations of the author.

Results: Working in multidisciplinary teams is a common feature of modern research processes. The most sensitive question is how to decide on who to acknowledge as author of a multi-authored publication. The pertinence of this question is growing with the increasing importance of individual scientists' publication records for professional status and career. However, discussions about authorship allocation might lead to serious conflicts and disputes among coworkers which could even endanger cooperation and successful completion of a research project. It seems that discussion and education about ethical standards and practical guidelines for fairly allocating authorship are insufficient and the question of ethical practices related to authorship in multi-authored publications remains generally unresolved.

Conclusion: It is necessary to work for raising awareness about the importance and need for education about principles of scientific communication and fair allocation of authorship, ethics of research and publication of results. The use of various forms of education in the scientific community, especially young researchers and students, in order to create an ethical environment, is one of the most effective ways to prevent the emergence of scientific and publication dishonesty and fraud, including pathology of authorship.

1. Neill US. Publish or perish, but at what cost? J Clin Invest. 2008; 118: 2368.

2. Bilić-Zulle L. Research integrity - a cornerstone of existence and development of science [In Croatian]. Biochemia Medica. 2007; 17: 143-50.

3. Donev D. Scientific and Publication Ethics and Misconduct. [In Macedonian]. Vox Medici. Dec 2012; 77: 235-40. Available at: Accessed: June 30, 2014.

4. Donev D. Principles and ethics in scientific communication in biomedicine. Acta Informatica Medica. 2013; 21 (4): 228-33. Available at: Accessed: June 30, 2014.

5. Dobric S. Authorship misusing in scientific publiccations. Vojnosanitetski pregled. 2012; 69(12): 1028-30.

6. Ignjatovic M. The authors and “authors”. Vojnosanitetski pregled. 2006; 63(3): 239-46.

7. Hwang K. How to Write a Scientific Paper: Three Tips to Remember. Arch Plast Surg. 2012 January; 39(1): 77. Available at: 39-77A.pdf Accessed: June 30, 2014.

8. Eggert LD. Best Practices for Allocating Appropriate Credit and Responsibility to Authors of Multi- Authored Articles. Front Psychol. 2011; 2: 196. Available at: 109/ Accessed: Jun 24, 2014.

9. Horner J, Minifie F. D. Research ethics III: publiccation practices and authorship, conflicts of interest, and research misconduct. J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 2011; 54: S346-S362.

10. Wager E, Kleinert S. Why do we need international standards on responsible research publication for authors and editors? Journal of Global Health. 2013; 3(2): 1-7. Available at: r%20FINAL.pdf Accessed: Sept 12, 2014.

11. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2011). Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research: Authorship and Contributorship. Available at: author.html Accessed: June 30, 2013.

12. ICMJE. Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals* - Updated December 2013. Available at: Accessed: Apr 7, 2014.

13. Claxton LD. Scientific authorship. Part 1. A window into scientific fraud? Mutat. Res. 2005 Jan; 589(1): 17-30. 14 Steneck N, Mayer T. Singapore Statement on Research Integrity. Available at: Accessed: Apr 7, 2014.

15. Council of Science Editors. CSEs White paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications. 2012 Update. Available at: editorial-policies/white-paper-on-publicationethics/ Accessed: Aug 14, 2014.

16. Committee on Publication Ethics. Promoting integrity in research publication. Available at: Accessed: Jul 20, 2014.

17. American Medical Association. Manual of Style. Available at: Accessed: Jul 20, 2014.

18. Smith E, Smith E, William-Jones B. Authorship and responsibility in health sciences research: a review of procedures for fairly allocating authorship in multiauthor studies. Sci Eng Ethics. 2012; 18(2): 199-212.

19. Bhopal R, Rankin J, McColl E, et al. The vexed question of authorship: views of researchers in a British medical faculty. BMJ. 1997; 314: 1009-12. Available at: d3d533c7224960ab169a64e4ecdf00808154574&keyt ype2=tf_ipsecsha Accessed: Sept 20, 2014

20. Kakkar N. Authorship trends in the Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology: going the global way? - Correspondence. J Clin Pathol. 2004; 57: 670. Available at: Accessed: Apr 20, 2014

21. Marusic A, Bates T, Anic A, Marusic M. How the structure of contribution disclosure statements affects validity of authorship: a randomized study in a general medical journal. Curr. Med. Res. Opin. 2006 Jun; 22(6): 1035-44.

22. Seeman JI, House MC. Influences on authorship issues: an evaluation of giving credit. Account. Res. 2010; 17(3): 146-69.

23. Godlee F. More than 20% of medical articles have a “guest” author. British Medical Journal (Overseas & Retired Doctors Edition). 2009; 339(7722): p652. Available at: more-than-20-medical-articles-have-a-guest-author Accessed: Sept 12, 2014.

24. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Authorship and disputes. Available at: iliate=nih&query=Authorship+and+disputes&commi t.x=31&commit.y=6 Accessed: Jul 18, 2014.

25. WAME. The Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Available at: Accessed: Jul 18, 2014.

26. European Association of Science Editors. EASE Guidelines for authors and translators of scientific articles to be published in English. June 2013. Available at: ines-june2013-english.pdf Accessed: Apr 8, 2014.

27. The Office of Research Integrity. Annual Report 2010. Available at: 2010.pdf Accessed: Jul 18, 2014.

28. American Psychological Association (2011). Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship. Available at: index.aspx Accessed: Aug 26, 2014.

29. Science. General Information for Authors. Available at: rep/gen_info.xhtml Accessed: Sept 15, 2014.

30. PLoS ONE. Guidelines for Authors. Available at: Accessed: Sept 15, 2014.

31. Nature. Authorship Policies. Available at: ll/4581078a.html Accessed: Sept 15, 2014.

32. Masic I, Kujundzic E. Science editing of academic periodicals in biomedical and social sciences. Avicena. Sarajevo, 2013: 278.

33. Montreal 4th World Conference on Research Integrity. Montreal Statement on Research Integrity. Available at: Accessed: Sept 15, 2014.

34. Wager E. Recognition, reward and responsibility: why the authorship of scientific papers matters. Maturitas. 2009 Feb 20; 62(2): 109-12.

35. Katavić V. Responsible conduct of research. In: Marušić M (ed.) Principles of research in medicine. Zagreb: Medicinska naklada. 2008: 234-45.

36. Albert T, Wager E. How to Handle Authorship Disputes: A Guide For New Researchers. The COPE Report 2003 (July 1). Available at:

37. Heitman E, Litewka S. International perspectives on plagiarism and considerations for teaching international trainees. Urol. Oncol. 2011; 29(1): 104-8.

38. Scheetz M. The Teaching Scholars Program: a proposed approach for promoting research integrity. In: Carmi A, Ferris L, Nachshon D, eds. Medicine and law - Theme issue on scientific misconduct. World Association for Medical Law. Medicine and Law. 2007; 26(3): 599-614.

39. Wagena E.J. The scandal of unfair behaviour of senior faculty. J. Med. Ethics. 2005 May; 31(5): 308.

40. Marusic A, Katavic V, Marusic M. Role of editors and journals in detecting and preventing scientific misconduct: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In: Carmi A, Ferris L, Nachshon D, eds. Medicine and law - Theme issue on scientific misconduct. World Association for Medical Law. Medicine and Law. 2007; 26(3): 545-66.


Section of Medical Sciences

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.45

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.177


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 156 89 9
PDF Downloads 84 61 6