Byline Research Paper

Byline Research Paper-46
While this convention may seem a simple measure to preempt any dispute, it has its own disadvantages.Readers get almost no information on who contributed the most, and if the main author’s name begins with a letter late in the alphabet, it’s very likely to be overlooked, or hidden in the “et al” list when the paper is cited by others—naturally, not an agreeable scenario.

While this convention may seem a simple measure to preempt any dispute, it has its own disadvantages.Readers get almost no information on who contributed the most, and if the main author’s name begins with a letter late in the alphabet, it’s very likely to be overlooked, or hidden in the “et al” list when the paper is cited by others—naturally, not an agreeable scenario.

Since there is no foolproof system for the ordering author names yet and journals do not normally arbitrate in such disputes, the onus is on authors to decide how best to resolve differences in opinion.

The group of individuals who will be involved in the project must ideally agree upon these points, with the person-in-charge assuming a bigger responsibility in clarifying them to junior researchers.

A century ago, defining an author was quite straightforward in academia—most articles were written by single authors who were solely responsible for the research conducted.

Complexities have arisen in the last several decades with the increasing scope of research, which has engendered collaboration between researchers and institutes across disciplines and specializations and led to an increase in the number of authors per paper.

Any changes in the level of involvement, or the addition or exclusion of some members, during the project should be approved by the individuals involved and reflected in the author byline.

Changes to the author byline after a manuscript has already been submitted are rare, and if required, should be explained to the journal.

In broad terms, an author should make significant contributions to the intellectual content of the paper and be willing to take public responsibility for the entire study, including the data and results.

The author’s role has been delineated most precisely in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals—established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)—to which many top journals in the biomedical field subscribe.

The Nature journals require authors to include a statement of responsibility specifying the contribution of each author.

Another concept that has evolved in response to the diluted accountability in multi-author papers is guarantorship.

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