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Deciding the order of authors on a paper

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❶The natural sciences have no universal standard for authorship, but some major multi-disciplinary journals and institutions have established guidelines for work that they publish. Like medicine, the APA considers institutional position, such as Department Chair, insufficient for attributing authorship.

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How to create an outline for your research paper. What is the best way of stating the background of a study? What is the difference between a research paper and a review paper? In theory, everyone on the list should be credited equally since it takes a team to successfully complete a project; however, due to industry customs and other practical limitations, some authors will be more visible than others. As you can see, choosing the author order can be quite complicated; therefore, we urge researchers to consider these factors early in the research process.

All the parties involved will need to agree on the author list before submission, and no one will want to delay submission because of a disagreement about who should be included on the author list and in what order. Additionally, we recommend periodically revisiting the named author issue to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that the list is updated to appropriately reflect changes in team composition or contributions to a work. Please also feel free to peruse our other free journal submissions and research writing resources.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Google. Why does author order matter? The following are some notable implications regarding author order. This author is the first name readers will see, and because of various citation rules, the first author may be the only name visible. Traditionally, the last author position is reserved for the supervisor or principal investigator.

As such, this person receives much of the credit when the research goes well and the flak when things go wrong. The last author may also be the corresponding author, the person who is the primary contact for journal editors. To address this issue, some journals, particularly medical ones, insist on detailed author contribution notes. Large authors lists have attracted some criticism. Such a system treats authorship more as credit for scientific service at the facility in general rather that as an identification of specific contributions.

I have not been aware of any valid argument for more than three authors per paper, although I recognize that this may not be true for every field. Alternatively, the increase in multi-authorship might be a consequence of the way scientists are evaluated.

Traditionally, scientists were judged by the number of papers they published, and later by the impact of those papers. The former is an estimate of quantity and the latter of quality. Both methods were adequate when single authorship was the norm, but vastly inflate individual contribution when papers are multi-authored. Furthermore, there is no cost to giving authorship to individuals who made only minor contribution and, actually, there is an incentive to do so.

Hence, the system rewards heavily multi-authored papers. This problem is openly acknowledged, and it could easily be "corrected" by dividing each paper and its citations by the number of authors. Finally, the rise in shared authorship may also reflect increased acknowledgment of the contributions of lower level workers, including graduate students and technicians, as well as honorary authorship, while allowing for such collaborations to make an independent statement about the quality and integrity of a scientific work.

Honorary authorship is sometimes granted to those who played no significant role in the work, for a variety of reasons. Until recently, it was standard to list the head of a German department or institution as an author on a paper regardless of input. However, it is plausible to expect that it is still widespread, because senior scientists leading large research groups can receive much of their reputation from a long publication list and thus have little motivation to give up honorary authorships.

A possible measure against honorary authorships has been implemented by some scientific journals, in particular by the Nature journals. They demand [24] that each new manuscript must include a statement of responsibility that specifies the contribution of every author.

The level of detail varies between the disciplines. Senior persons may still make some vague claim to have "supervised the project", for example, even if they were only in the formal position of a supervisor without having delivered concrete contributions.

The truth content of such statements is usually not checked by independent persons. However, the need to describe contributions can at least be expected to somewhat reduce honorary authorships.

In addition, it may help to identify the perpetrator in a case of scientific fraud. Ghost authorship occurs when an individual makes a substantial contribution to the research or the writing of the report, but is not listed as an author.

Writers who work in this capacity are called ghostwriters. Ghost authorship has been linked to partnerships between industry and higher education. Two-thirds of industry-initiated randomized trials may have evidence of ghost authorship. Litigation against the pharmaceutical company, Merck over health concerns related to use of their drug, Rofecoxib brand name Vioxx , revealed examples of ghost authorship.

Authors are sometimes included in a list without their permission. Rules for the order of multiple authors in a list have historically varied significantly between fields of research. In Computer Science in general the principal contributor is the first in the author list. However, the practice of putting the principal investigator last in the author list has increasingly become an accepted standard across most areas in science and engineering. Although listing authors in order of the involvement in the project seems straightforward, it often leads to conflict.

A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that more than two-thirds of corresponding authors disagreed with their coauthors regarding contributions of each author. In a notable case, American stem-cell researcher Gerald Schatten had his name listed on a paper co-authored with Hwang Woo-suk.

All authors, including co-authors, are usually expected to have made reasonable attempts to check findings submitted for publication. In some cases, co-authors of faked research have been accused of inappropriate behavior or research misconduct for failing to verify reports authored by others or by a commercial sponsor. More recent cases include Charles Nemeroff , [37] former editor-in-chief of Neuropsychopharmacology , and the so-called Sheffield Actonel affair.

Additionally, authors are expected to keep all study data for later examination even after publication. Both scientific and academic censure can result from a failure to keep primary data; the case of Ranjit Chandra of Memorial University of Newfoundland provides an example of this. Outlined in the author disclosure statement for the American Journal of Human Biology , [40] this is a policy more common in scientific fields where funding often comes from corporate sources.

Authors are also commonly required to provide information about ethical aspects of research, particularly where research involves human or animal participants or use of biological material. Provision of incorrect information to journals may be regarded as misconduct. Financial pressures on universities have encouraged this type of misconduct.

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Publishing a paper as the first author is very crucial for the scientific career of a Ph.D. student. Most Ph.D. programs worldwide require a Ph.D. student to have at least one first-authored paper in order to qualify for a degree. So an authorship dispute would be inevitable if two Ph.D. students were to work on the same project for their degree.

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In fact, the average original research paper has five authors. The growing list of collaborative research projects raises important questions regarding the author order for research manuscripts and the impact an author list has on readers’ perceptions.

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Jan 16,  · When papers have more than ten authors, the contribution of each author from the tenth position onwards is then valuated just 5%. (2) The “equal contribution” norm (EC). Authors use alphabetical sequence to acknowledge similar contributions or to avoid disharmony in . Order of authors in an engineering publication. up vote 16 down vote favorite. 4. Recently, In my opinion, whatever the order of authors, the contributions should be individually stated, as it is common in some fields and journals. Status regarding co-authorship for a computer science research paper.

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We have sometimes put all the authors of a research group before the authors of the other group. So, its up to the authors, but I would suggest yo to design a long term strategy for the authors order. Rare is the scientific paper today written by a single author. With research being conducted by teams of scientists, most studies now boast a half-dozen or so authors. According to a new study led.