Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Criteria for Ethical Authorship and Contributorship

  • Charon A. PiersonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_311-1



The word author derives from the old French word autor, meaning a person who invents or causes something. In the world of scientific discourse, an author is the creator of an idea, a product of dissemination related to an idea, or the originator of a creative work (COPE Council 2014). Foucault (1969) wrote that throughout history, a “proven discourse” had to carry the name of its author to be considered authentic. Authorship today, as described by publishers, scientific societies, and regulatory bodies, includes an element of that authentication described by Foucault as an inherent obligation of authorship. Accountability for authorship is well recognized in the authorship guidelines promulgated by COPE, the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE 2018), the Council of Science Editors (CSE 2012), with varying emphasis on an accountability statement...

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  1. COPE Council (2014) What constitutes authorship? COPE Discussion Document. Available at https://publicationethics.org/files/u7141/Authorship_DiscussionDocument_0_0.pdf
  2. Council of Science Editors (2012) White paper on Publication Ethics. Available at https://www.councilscienceeditors.org/resource-library/editorial-policies/white-paper-on-publication-ethics/. Accessed 09 Oct 18
  3. Foucault M (1969) What is an author? Essay included in The Foucault Reader, edited by Paul Rabinow. 1984; Penguin Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. International Council of Medical Journal Editors (2018) Defining the role of authors and contributors. Available at http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html. Accessed 09 Oct 18

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Secretary, COPE CouncilGilbertUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Charon Pierson
    • 1
  1. 1.Secretary for the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)Editor Emeritus of the Journal of the American Association of Nurse PractitionersGilbertUSA