Avoiding plagiarism-Deciding on authorship

Deciding on authorship

Whether students or professionals, individuals collaborating on a research project should discuss authorship issues, such as who will be designated as senior author, the order of other authors, and any other individual acknowledgements for other contributions to the project, before initiating work on the project. Any agreement reached regarding authorship should be recorded in writing and should outline the formula used for determining whom the senior author should be and the authorship order for the rest of the investigators involved in the project. The agreement should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate changes that may arise while the project is in progress (e.g., an individual not initially designated as author ends up making substantive contributions that earn her authorship in the paper, or an individual previously designated as author fails to carry out the designated duties, making his contributions not sufficient or important to merit authorship).