Skip to main content
Log in

An analytic hierarchy process model to apportion co-author responsibility

  • Published:
Science and Engineering Ethics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) can be used to determine co-author responsibility for a scientific paper describing collaborative research. The objective is to deter scientific fraud by holding co-authors accountable for their individual contributions. A hiearchical model of the research presented in a paper can be created by dividing it into primary and secondary elements. The co-authors then determine the contributions of the primary and secondary elements to the work as a whole as well as their own individual contributions. They can use the results to determine authorship order.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Jacobi, M. (2002) Fraud in the physical sciences. Chemical & Engineering News 80: 31–33.

    Google Scholar 

  2. AAUP (1990) Statement on multiple authorship. Academe 76: 41.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Macrina, F. L. (2000) Scientific Integrity, 2nd ed. ASM Press, Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Sahu, A. P. (2000) Authorship rules, rights, responsibilities and recommendations. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine 46: 205–210.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Sheskin, T. J. (2002) Apportioning credit to multiple authors. Journal of Information Ethics 11: 5–6.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Rennie, D., Yank, V. and Emanuel, L. (1997) When authorship fails: a proposal to make contributors accountable. JAMA 278: 579–585.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Rennie, D., Flanagin, A. and Yank, V. (2000) The contributions of authors. JAMA 284: 89–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Rennie, D. (2001) Who did what? authorship and contribution in 2001. Muscle & Nerve 24: 1274–1277.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Resnik, D. B. (1997) A proposal for a new system of credit allocation in science. Science and Engineering Ethics 3: 237–243.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Tarnow, E. (1999) The authorship list in science: junior physicists’ perception of who appears and why. Science and Engineering Ethics 5: 73–88.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Saaty, T. L. (1980) The Analytic Hierarchy Process. McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Winston, W. L. (1994) Operations Research. 3 rd ed. Duxbury Press, Belmont, CA.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Saaty, T. L. (1982) Decision Making for Leaders. Lifetime Learning Pub., Belmont, CA.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Theodore J. Sheskin.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sheskin, T.J. An analytic hierarchy process model to apportion co-author responsibility. SCI ENG ETHICS 12, 555–565 (2006).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: