Individuals from leading journals and scientific organisations met earlier this year to discuss ways to improve the transparency of author contributions to research papers. The group made a number of proposals, which were recently published on bioRxiv. Their recommendations for journals include:
- Adopt a statement that clearly stipulates the contributions that warrant authorship.
- Provide clear guidance on the responsibilities of corresponding authors and their role in ensuring compliance with transparency and reproducibility standards.
- Commit to the use of CRediT as a method for embedding author contributions in journal metadata.
- Encourage authors to adopt ORCID and other standard identifiers to ensure publications and citations are attributed to the correct individuals.
The authors also provide recommendations for other stakeholders, including universities, research institutions, funding agencies and scientific societies, who they believe have an important role to play in improving standards. These include the use of CRediT and ORCID, and open discussions around authorship criteria. The group hope that, through the adoption and promotion of these recommendations, a more open system of assigning author credit for contributions is possible, leading to improved authorship integrity and transparency.