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AuthorshipFarthing

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Who is an author?
Michael Farthing
www.ukrio.org
[email protected]
Shared values
• Honesty –
conveying information truthfully and honoring
commitments
• Accuracy –
reporting findings precisely and taking care
to avoid errors
• Efficiency – using resources wisely and avoiding waste
• Objectivity–letting
avoiding improper bias
the facts speak for themselves and
Who is an author?
Responsible authorship?
• How to decide?
• Who decides?
• When is the decision
made?
• Implications?
Authorship
Authorship credit should be based only on substantial
contributions to all of the following:
• Conception and design or acquisition of data or analysis and
interpretation of data; and to
• Drafting the article or revising it critically for important
intellectual content; and
• Final approval of the version to be published
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for
manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals.
Ann Intern Med 1997; 126: 36-47
Authorship
• Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or
the collection of data does not justify authorship
• General supervision of the research group is also
not sufficient for authorship
Authorship- ‘In an ideal
world’
• Authors should provide a description of what each
contributed
• Editors should publish that information
• All others should be named in the acknowledgments
Authorship
Responsibilities of authors
• Agree study design
• Agree authorship
• Ethical considerations
• Maintain accurate and auditable records
Authorship
Corresponding or primary author assumes
responsibility for:
• Accuracy of the data
• The names listed as authors
• Approval of the final draft by all
• Handling all correspondence and enquiries
Authorship
Authorship………..
or ‘contributorship’ ?
Publication ethics:
The interested parties
Author
Reviewer
Editor
Interested parties
Pharma
3rd party
Author
Pharma
3rd Party
Reviewer
Pharma
3rd party
Pharma
3rd party
Editor
Publisher
Owner
When Authorship goes wrong
UKRIO cases 2007-11
%
Authorship
Authors’ misdemeanours:
• Honorary (‘Gift’) authorship
• Dual (multiple) submission
• Failure to disclose conflicts of interest
• ‘Salami slicing’ or ‘Salami publication’
• Redundant (duplicate) publication
Who is an author?
Other kinds of authors!
• ‘Gift’ authors
• ‘Ghost’ (professional) authors
Are they OK? What are the dangers?
Are ‘Ghost authors’ OK?
• Industry initiated trials
• 1994-5
• n = 44
• Copenhagen, Fredericksberg
• Compared trial protocols
with authors of publication
• 33 of 44 (75%) ‘Ghosted’
Plos Medicine 2007;4:e19
Does funding source influence
outcomes?
• Systematic review of 30 studies
• 13 /16 funded by the industry were favourable
• Industry studies 4 times likely to be positive
• 5 examined economics – all positive
Lexchin et al, BMJ 2003; 326: 1167
Bias in meta analyses
• Comparison of Cochrane reviews and
industry supported/other reviews of the
same pair of drugs
• n = 24
• Cochrane higher quality and more likely to
consider bias (p = 0.02)
• Non-Cochrane more likely to recommend
the experimental drug (p = 0.02)
Jorgensen et al, BMJ 2006; 333: 782
Are ‘Ghost Authors’ OK?
Authorship
Case discussion
Case study 1
A case from GUT
• Fabrication /falsification ?
• ‘Gift’ authorship
• Forgery and fraud
Case study 2
• Two researchers in adjacent labs are asked by their
supervisor to plan a joint study
• Each researcher has a different but complimentary
technique to bring to the study
• The work progresses rapidly and within 4 months
they have sufficient data to present at a conference
and to write up as a full paper.
• The researchers ask for a meeting with the
supervisor as they cannot agree who should give the
conference presentation……
• And who should write the paper
Case study 2
• Is this a reasonable request?
• What is the problem?
• How could it have been prevented?
• Who is at fault?
• How should it be resolved?
Case study 3
• You are approached by Dr Jones, a researcher at your
university. He states that he was surprised and very upset to
learn recently that a book he had written jointly with a
colleague, Dr Smith, is to be published with Dr Smith as the
sole author. Dr Jones’ role in the research and the book will be
acknowledged in the list of contributors to the project,
nothing more.
• The book is based on research which was conducted by Dr
Jones and Dr Smith under the auspices of your university. A
number of articles relating to the research have previously
been published in peer reviewed journals.
Case study 3
• Dr Jones states that he and Dr Smith had previously
agreed that the book was a joint work and that they
would each receive co-authorship. He does not have
any written record of this agreement or any
discussions regarding authorship.
• Dr Jones tells you that he has spoken to Dr Smith in
an attempt to reach some sort of agreement on the
matter but was unsuccessful. He states that he has
also spoken to the publishers of the book. Their
response was that they had received reassurances
from Dr Smith which they accept and they have no
plans to change the attribution of authorship.
Case study 3
• Prior to this dispute, Dr Jones believed that he
had a good working relationship with Dr
Smith. As well as seeking advice on how to
address the issue of authorship, he is also
concerned how his career might be affected
by the dispute with Dr Smith.
• How would you respond to Dr Jones?
• What further information might you seek?
• How might the situation be resolved?
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