Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 171–175

Scientific authorship and intellectual involvement in the research: Should they coincide?

Scientific Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s11019-014-9585-6

Cite this article as:
Helgesson, G. Med Health Care and Philos (2015) 18: 171. doi:10.1007/s11019-014-9585-6


An update of the widely acknowledged recommendations on how to handle authorship in research, issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), was issued in August, 2013. While the revised recommendations contain several clarifications compared to earlier versions, one arguably important aspect is still not addressed: the relationship between authorship and intellectual involvement in research. In this paper, it is argued that the ICMJE authorship criteria are flawed in this respect: they do not explicitly require of authors of scientific papers that they do research. It is further suggested that unless academic authorship clearly reflects to what extent individual researchers have been intellectually involved in the research and to what extent they have merely contributed with research-related work, they will, in many cases, be misleading about research merits.


Authorship Ethics Intellectual involvement Research 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stockholm Centre for Healthcare Ethics (CHE), Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and EthicsKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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