Guidance on Authorship

This page provides general guidance on assigning authorship and acknowledging sources of support in publications.

Definition of Author

According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations an author should meet all four criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Many journals now require that each author outlines their contribution substantiating their role and thus their ability to claim authorship.

Multi-authored Publications

Multi-investigator research teams differ significantly from the individual faculty/graduate student research teams. This situation may be especially true in the era of team science. In particular, the former may consist of colleagues from various disciplines who perform different functions. Sometimes, no single person understands the totality of the research.

With this in mind, the following are guidelines for scholarly manuscripts emanating from multi-investigator (multi-specialty) research. The goal is to keep these fundamental and straightforward. As a consequence, the guidelines attempt to address all scholarly collaborations which anticipate multiple authors.

Principal investigators and senior faculty have responsibilities to assure the overall cohesiveness and validity of the publications on which they appear as coauthors.

  • All authors in a group effort have a shared responsibility for the published result and should have the opportunity to review all sample preparation procedures and data and all data acquisition and analysis procedures.
  • Each author in a group effort should have access to the manuscript before submission for publication and should agree to his or her inclusion as a coauthor. All potential authors should know about the manuscript preparation.
  • Early in the project, each research group should define appropriate practices for the maintenance of data.

Disclosure of Research Funding and Other Support

In all scientific and scholarly publications and all manuscripts submitted for publication, authors should acknowledge the sources of support for all activities leading to and facilitating the preparation of the publication or manuscript, including, but not limited to:

  • grant, contract, and gift support;
  • salary support, if other than institutional funds. Note that salary support that is provided to the University by an external entity does not constitute institutional funds by virtue of being distributed by the University, and
  • technical or other support if substantive and meaningful to the completion of the project.

NIH Public Access Policy

To advance science and improve human health, NIH makes the peer-reviewed articles it funds publicly available on PubMed Central. The NIH public access policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication.

For more information on the NIH Public Access Policy, click here.

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