The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines

A starting point for a discussion of authorship could be the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines. In 1978, a small selection of editors of general medical journals met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, to ascertain guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted for their journals. The group became referred to as Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references manufactured by the National Library of Medicine, were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group evolved and expanded to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which meets annually. The ICMJE gradually has broadened its concerns to incorporate ethical principles related to publication in biomedical journals. Over time, ICMJE has issued updated versions of exactly what are called Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals along with other statements relating to editorial policy. The absolute most update that is recent in November 2003. Approximately 500 journals that are biomedical to the guidelines.

In accordance with the ICMJE guidelines:

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  • Authorship credit should be centered on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of information, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the content or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval associated with the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
  • When a large, multi-center group has conducted the task, the group should identify the people who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the requirements for authorship defined above and editors will ask these individuals to perform author that is journal-specific conflict of great interest disclosure forms. When submitting a bunch author manuscript, the author that is corresponding clearly indicate the most well-liked citation and may clearly identify all individual authors along with the group name. Journals will generally list other people in the group when you look at the acknowledgements. The National Library of Medicine indexes the combined group name while the names of people the group has recognized as being directly accountable for the manuscript.
  • Acquisition of funding, number of data, or supervision that is general of research group, alone, will not justify authorship.
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the strive to take responsibility that is public appropriate portions associated with content.
  • Your order of authorship from the byline should really be a decision that is joint of co-authors. Authors must be ready to explain the order in which authors are listed.
  • All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship must be listed in an acknowledgments section.

C. Problems with ICMJE recommendations

Two major problems with the ICMJE guidelines are that numerous people in the scientific community are unacquainted with them and several scientists usually do not sign up to them. According to Stanford University’s Mildred Cho and Martha McKee, writing in Science’s Next Wave in 2002, a 1994 study revealed that 21% of authors of basic science papers and 30% of authors of clinical studies had no involvement in the conception or design of a project, the design associated with the study, the analysis and interpretation of data, or the writing or revisions. Actual practice, it appears, disagrees with ICMJE recommendations.

Eugene Tarnow, writing in Science and Ethics in 2002, reports findings related to your 1994 study. He cited a 1992 study of 1,000 fellows that are postdoctoral the University of California, bay area, by which less than half knew about any university, school, laboratory, or departmental guidelines for research and publication. Half believed that being head associated with laboratory was sufficient for authorship, and slightly fewer thought that getting funding was enough for authorship.

A research by Tarnow of postdoctoral fellows in physics when you look at the 1990s also shows divergences from ICMJE precepts and points with other concerns about authorship in the sciences. Tarnow discovered that 74% regarding the postdoctoral fellows did not recognize the American Physical Society’s guidelines or thought it was vague or ready to accept interpretations that are multiple. Half the guidelines were thought by the respondents suggested that obtaining funding was sufficient for authorship, as the other half would not. The findings also revealed that in 75% regarding the postdoc-supervisor relationships authorship criteria was not discussed; in 61% the postdoc’s criteria are not “clearly agreed upon”; and in 70% associated with relationships the criteria for designating other authors had not been “clearly agreed upon.”

Clearly, different laboratories have different practices about who must certanly be included as an author on a paper. At some institutions, it’s quite common for heads of departments to be listed as authors, as so-called “guest authors” or “gift authors,” although they never have directly contributed towards the research. At other institutions, laboratory heads would routinely include as authors technicians who may have performed many experiments but might not have made a substantial contribution that is intellectual a paper, while others would give a technician only an acknowledgment at the conclusion of a paper. Some academic supervisors may have their graduate students collect data, do research, and jot down results, yet not give them credit on a paper, while others will give authorship credit to students. Some foreigners in america may feel obligated to put mentors from their property countries on a paper and even though they failed to take part in the study.

Alternatives to ICMJE

Another problem aided by the ICMJE guidelines that includes show up is the fact that each author is almost certainly not in a position to take full responsibility for the totality of a paper. In a day and time of increasing specialization, one person knowing most of the statistical analyses and methodology that is scientific went into getting results can be unlikely. As a result, some journals, such as the British Medical Journal and Lancet, have turned from the notion of an author and instead think in terms of a person who is ready to take responsibility for the content of this paper. The Journal of the American Medical Association also now requires authors to submit a form attesting towards the nature of these contribution to a paper.

The British Medical Journal says that listing authorship according to ICMJE guidelines does not clarify that is accountable for overall content and excludes those whose contribution has been the number of data. The journal lists contributors in two ways: it publishes the authors’ names at the beginning of the paper, and lists contributors, some of whom may not be included as authors, at the end, and provides details of who planned, conducted, and reported the work as a result. A number of regarding the contributors are thought “guarantors” of this paper. The guarantor must make provision for a written statement she accepts full responsibility for the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish that he or. BMJ says that researchers must determine among themselves the precise nature of each man or woman’s contribution, and encourages open discussion among all participants.

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With an increase of knowing of the problem, ICMJE now has with its guidelines a clause concerning contributorship: “Editors are strongly encouraged to produce and implement a contributorship policy, in addition to a policy on identifying who is in charge of the integrity of the act as an entire.”

E. Other authorship responsibilities

Besides clarifying the problem of who is an author and who deserves credit for work, an author has many other responsibilities (what is given just below has been adapted from Michael Kalichman’s educational material when it comes to University of California, San Diego):

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  • Good writing: Authors must write well and explain methods, data analysis and conclusions so they can be understood by a reader and be able to replicate findings. Charts, tables and graphs must be clear also.
  • Accuracy: Although every effort must certanly be designed to not have mistakes in a paper, be they in a footnote or through the research itself, unintentional errors creep in. Authors should always be careful.
  • Context and citations: the writer needs to put research into appropriate context and supply citations into the manuscript that both agree and disagree utilizing the work.
  • Publishing negative results: If researchers never publish negative results, it makes a impression that is false biases the literature. If answers are not published from a drug trial, as an example, that either shows a medication does not work or has unwanted effects, clinicians reviewing the literature could easily get the wrong idea about the medication’s true value. Because of this, other researchers may continue with studies about a drug that is potentially bad.