Authorship Arrangements

It is common for a number of people to be involved in writing articles for publication.

It is important to understand and discuss the issues about authorship before starting to work as a writing team. Authorship applies to articles written, conference presentations including posters, and also to subsequent work that uses data derived from the study. It may be important to identify early who has access to the data that result from a study, and how and where it will ultimately be stored.

New analysis of data from a study done for another purpose may sometimes require a new ethics approval.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) have developed a set of Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations) (219kb pdf) that clarify the definitions of authorship and the different types of involvement in preparing an article for publication. Many journals require a statement of involvement for each named author, describing their contribution in detail. Some collaborative research groups also have Standard Operating Procedures covering authorship arrangements.

Conflicts of interest, defined as any form of competing loyalty, must also be explicitly acknowledged and addressed. Conflicts of interest may be financial or based on personal relationships, or other personal factors. ICMJE provides a summary of the issues involved.

Last updated 20 January 2017