Authorship problems in scholarly journals: considerations for authors, peer reviewers and editors
- 649 Downloads
Authorship problems in scholarly journals shake the foundations of research, diminish scientific quality of papers and devalue records of citation tracking services. The ‘Publish or Perish’ mantra is thought to drive some instances of unfair, honorary authorship, particularly in countries of emerging scientific power. Though causes of honorary, gift, guest and ghost authorship are still ill-defined, it is possible to avoid some of these instances by improving awareness of what constitutes authorship and by adhering to the editorial policies of learned associations. This paper overviews common cases of inappropriate authorship and suggests options to solve related problems by authors, reviewers and editors of scholarly journals.
KeywordsAuthorship Editorial policies Periodicals as topic Research standards
The points presented in the paper were discussed at a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) rheumatology research meeting at the Clinical Education Centre of the Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley Group NHS Trust (A Teaching Trust of University of Birmingham), Dudley, UK. The authors thank all participants of the meeting for their comments. AYG and GDK thank the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, UK for support during the writing the paper.
Conflict of interest
AYG is a sponsored member of the European Association of Science Editors and member of the World Association of Medical Editors. He also serves as the chief editor of European Science Editing and editorial advisory board member and reviewer of more than 20 rheumatological, cardiological and general medical journals. LA declares no conflict of interest. GDK is editorial board member of 5 international journals and reviewer for more than 30 international journals and research funding bodies.
- 4.Osareh F, Chakoli NA, Keshvari M (2010) Co-authorship of Iranian researchers in science, social science, art and humanities citation indexes in the web of science between 2000 and 2006. Inform Sci Technol 25(4):573–595Google Scholar
- 5.Yousefi A, Hemmat M, Gilvari A, Shahmirzadi T (2012) Citation analysis and co-authorship of Iranian researchers in the field of immunology in ISI web of science: a brief report. Tehran Univ Med J 70(3):188–193Google Scholar
- 23.Salita JT (2010) Authorship practices in Asian cultures. The Write Stuff 19(1):36–38Google Scholar
- 26.Hu W, Sun L, Gao J, Li Y, Wang P, Cheng Y, Pan T, Han J, Liu Y, Lu W, Zuo X, Sheng Y, Yao S, He C, Yu Z, Yin X, Cui Y, Yang S, Zhang X (2011) Down-regulated expression of IKZF1 mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatol Int 31(6):819–822. doi: 10.1007/s00296-010-1576-1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 30.Carter S (2010) Authorship: definitions and declarations—a perspective from the BMJ. The Write Stuff 19(1):18Google Scholar
- 35.Kisacik B, Kalyoncu U, Erol MF, Karadag O, Yildiz M, Akdogan A, Kaptanoglu B, Hayran M, Ureten K, Ertenli I, Kiraz S, Calguneri M (2007) Accurate diagnosis of acute abdomen in FMF and acute appendicitis patients: how can we use procalcitonin? Clin Rheumatol 26(12):2059–2062. doi: 10.1007/s10067-007-0617-y PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 38.Cagatay T, Aydin M, Sunmez S, Cagatay P, Gulbaran Z, Gul A, Artim B, Kilicaslan Z (2010) Follow-up results of 702 patients receiving tumor necrosis factor-α antagonists and evaluation of risk of tuberculosis. Rheumatol Int 30(11):1459–1463. doi: 10.1007/s00296-009-1170-6 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 39.Wager E, Kleinert S on behalf of COPE Council. Cooperation between research institutions and journals on research integrity cases: guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). March 2012. Available at http://publicationethics.org/files/Research_institutions_guidelines_final.pdf. Accessed 20 May 2012
- 41.Habibzadeh F, Marcovitch H (2012) Authorship dispute among the league of extraordinary gentlemen. Eur Sci Editing 38(2):40–41Google Scholar
- 42.EASE guidelines for authors and translators of scientific articles to be published in English. Available at http://www.ease.org.uk/sites/default/files/ease_guidelines-june2011c.pdf. Accessed 2 June 2012
- 43.Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: ethical considerations in the conduct and reporting of research: authorship and contributorship. Available at http://www.icmje.org/ethical_1author.html. Accessed 22 May 2012
- 44.CSE’s white paper on promoting integrity in scientific journal publications, 2012 update. Editorial Policy Committee (2011–2012) Available at http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/files/public/entire_whitepaper.pdf. Accessed 20 May 2012
- 47.Samad A, Khanzada TW, Siddiqui AA (2009) Do the instructions to authors of Pakistani medical journals convey adequate guidance for authorship criteria? Pak J Med Sci 25(6):879–882Google Scholar
- 48.Wager L (2010) Authorship—more than just writing, but how much more? The Write Stuff 19(1):19–21Google Scholar
- 49.Wager E, Kleinert S, Responsible research publication: international standards for authors. A position statement developed at the 2nd world conference on research integrity, Singapore, 22–24 July 2010. Available at http://publicationethics.org/files/International%20standards_authors_for%20website_11_Nov_2011.pdf. Accessed 2 June 2012
- 50.http://publicationethics.org/files/u2/All_flowcharts.pdf. Accessed 20 May 2012
- 51.Policy Statements. Prepared by the WAME editorial policy committee. Available at http://www.wame.org/resources/policies. Accessed 20 May 2012