More on Problems of Scientific Authorship

in a commentary in The Scientist. Glenn McGee’s two suggested rules to help address various problems with scientific authorship are:

Rule #1. Journals must be ready, willing, and able to check whether a submitted paper has been published elsewhere.

Rule #2. Universities need to do a better job of preventing authorship disputes in the first place, and accepting responsibility when these disputes occur.



  1. Marilyn said

    Is it permissible to list someone as an author without that person’s knowledge? I sent an e-mail asking some questions of one of the authors of an article in press that was to be published in a scientific journal. This person had no idea what I was referring to and said he hadn’t seen the article.

    Absolutely not! Many if not most journals require signed acknowledgment of authorship by all named co-authors at the time of manuscript submission. Either the journal did not have such a requirement, or someone forged the unsuspecting “author’s” signature. All authors must contribute significantly to the manuscript itself and take responsibility for its content, which clearly cannot be done by someone listed without his or her knowledge. Please see the ICMJE Uniform Guidelines for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals if you need documentation on this matter for the case at hand. The journal to which the manuscript was submitted should also cover this issue in their instructions to authors. – writedit

  2. […] 5, 2007 at 3:29 pm · Filed under Biomedical Research Ethics, Biomedical Writing/Editing This commentary exchange is so important I am pulling it out into general circulation. Folks, listing someone as an author […]

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