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COMMENTARY
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42

Commentary: No room for ambiguity: The concepts of appropriate and inappropriate authorship in scientific publications


Senior Consultant, Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital, Singapore

Date of Web Publication15-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lingam Gopal
National University Health System, Department of Ophthalmology, 1E, Kent Ridge Road, Tower Block, Level 7
Singapore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2574_20

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How to cite this article:
Gopal L. Commentary: No room for ambiguity: The concepts of appropriate and inappropriate authorship in scientific publications. Indian J Ophthalmol 2021;69:42

How to cite this URL:
Gopal L. Commentary: No room for ambiguity: The concepts of appropriate and inappropriate authorship in scientific publications. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jan 21];69:42. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2021/69/1/42/303312



This issue of the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology has an offbeat article on the concept of appropriate and inappropriate authorship.[1] The article details a list of criteria to define who can be an author and who cannot be. In practice, however, it is easier to define who should be an author in an article but less easy to define who cannot be an author. It is not always easy to quantify the degree of contribution and create a cutoff line to clearly label a person as being eligible or ineligible for authorship.

I would like to quote four fictitious examples to make my point that ambiguity will remain in this area despite attempts at generating clarity.

Example 1: Over a cup of coffee a senior consultant gives a seed of an idea for a potential publication. Subsequently, the entire work is done by his/her colleague with the help of their residents/fellows. Is the senior consultant eligible to be a coauthor since the idea itself was generated over a discussion with him/her, although there was no input subsequently in the generation of the manuscript?

Example 2: A junior colleague writes a review article. He/She gives it to his senior colleague for a quick “look over.” The senior colleague suggests adding two extra tables. The junior colleague adds the tables and submits the manuscript. Would this contribution by the senior colleague be considered significant?

Example 3: A consultant compiles case series from an institution. Since the disease under consideration is relatively rare, cases across many years were collected. Should all the consultants that contributed the cases be listed as coauthors—even if it is just one case?

Example 4: A case report is submitted to a journal. While the case was entirely managed by a consultant in one hospital, he consulted his mentor on phone once or twice. Is the mentor justified to be a coauthor?



 
  References Top

1.
Ali MJ. No room for ambiguity: The concepts of appropriate and inappropriate authorship in scientific publications. Indian J Ophthalmol 2021;69:36-41.  Back to cited text no. 1
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