Criteria for Authorship

It is important that the correct list of authors is attributed to an article. As ICMJE notes, "Authorship confers credit and has important academic, social, and financial implications".

All authors listed on a submission must have given prior approval to have their name attributed to the file(s) that are being submitted and agree to the publication. The corresponding author has responsibility to ensure that all authors qualify for, and have agreed to, authorship of the submission. They are also responsible for informing all co-authors of relevant editorial information during the review process.

Our recommendations are based on the ICMJE criteria for authorship. Authors must have:

  • made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work
  • contributed to the drafting the work, or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • provided final approval of the version to be published
  • agreed 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
  • agreed to be named on the author list, and approved of the full author list

Those who meet some but not all of the above criteria may be acknowledged in the publication but should not be listed as an author. Examples that do not qualify for authorship but should be acknowledged are sources of funding, supervision of research groups, administrative support, language editing and proofreading. Authors may wish to seek written permission from those being acknowledged, as in some cases being named in such a way may be seen as an endorsement of the publication.