Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 1419–1430 | Cite as

A Simple Framework for Evaluating Authorial Contributions for Scientific Publications

  • Jeffrey M. WarrenderEmail author
Original Paper


A simple tool is provided to assist researchers in assessing contributions to a scientific publication, for ease in evaluating which contributors qualify for authorship, and in what order the authors should be listed. The tool identifies four phases of activity leading to a publication—Conception and Design, Data Acquisition, Analysis and Interpretation, and Manuscript Preparation. By comparing a project participant’s contribution in a given phase to several specified thresholds, a score of up to five points can be assigned; the contributor’s scores in all four phases are summed to yield a total “contribution score”, which is compared to a threshold to determine which contributors merit authorship. This tool may be useful in a variety of contexts in which a systematic approach to authorial credit is desired.


Authorship Scientific publications Ethics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Army ARDEC-Benét LaboratoriesWatervlietUSA

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