The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines

A starting point for a discussion of authorship may be the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines. In 1978, a group that is small of of general medical journals met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted for their journals. The group became referred to as Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references manufactured by the National Library of Medicine, were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which meets annually. The ICMJE gradually has broadened its concerns to add ethical principles related to publication in biomedical journals. Over time, ICMJE has issued updated versions of exactly what are called Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals and other statements relating to editorial policy. The most update that is recent in November 2003. Approximately 500 biomedical journals subscribe into the guidelines.

According to the ICMJE guidelines:

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  • Authorship credit must be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of information; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval for the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
  • When a large, multi-center group has conducted the task, the group should identify the people who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. Him or her should fully meet the criteria for authorship defined above and editors will ask these people to perform author that is journal-specific conflict of great interest disclosure forms. When submitting an organization author manuscript, the author that is corresponding clearly indicate the preferred citation and really should clearly identify all individual authors plus the group name. Journals will generally list other members of the group when you look at the acknowledgements. The National Library of Medicine indexes the group name in addition to names of an individual the group has recognized as being directly accountable for the manuscript.
  • Acquisition of funding, number of data, or supervision that is general of research group, alone, does not justify authorship.
  • Each author need to have participated sufficiently into the strive to take public responsibility for appropriate portions associated with the content.
  • The order of authorship regarding the byline should really be a joint decision regarding the co-authors. Authors should always be prepared to explain the order in which authors are listed.
  • All contributors who do not meet the requirements for authorship must certanly be listed in an acknowledgments section.

C. Difficulties with ICMJE recommendations

Two major issues with the ICMJE guidelines are that lots of members of the community that is scientific unacquainted with them and lots of scientists usually do not subscribe to them. Relating to Stanford University’s Mildred Cho and Martha McKee, writing in Science’s Next Wave in 2002, a 1994 study indicated that 21% of authors of basic science papers and 30% of authors of clinical studies had no involvement within the conception or design of a project, the style of the study, the analysis and interpretation of data, or the writing or revisions. Actual practice, it appears, disagrees with ICMJE recommendations.

Eugene Tarnow, writing in Science and Ethics in 2002, reports findings related to your 1994 study buy essays online. He cited a 1992 study of 1,000 postdoctoral fellows at the University of California, bay area, in which less than half knew about any university, school, laboratory, or departmental guidelines for research and publication. Half believed that being head regarding the laboratory was sufficient for authorship, and slightly fewer believed that getting funding was enough for authorship.

A report by Tarnow of postdoctoral fellows in physics within the 1990s also shows divergences from ICMJE precepts and points to other concerns about authorship in the sciences. Tarnow discovered that 74% regarding the postdoctoral fellows failed to recognize the American Physical Society’s guidelines or thought it was vague or open to multiple interpretations. Half the respondents thought the principles suggested that obtaining funding was sufficient for authorship, although the other half failed to. The findings also revealed that in 75% for the postdoc-supervisor relationships authorship criteria was not discussed; in 61% the postdoc’s criteria are not “clearly agreed upon”; as well as in 70% of this relationships the criteria for designating other authors was not “clearly agreed upon.”

Clearly, different laboratories have different practices about who should really be included as an author on a paper. At some institutions, extremely common for heads of departments to be listed as authors, as so-called “guest authors” or authors that are”gift” although they have not directly contributed into the research. At other institutions, laboratory heads would routinely include as authors technicians and also require performed many experiments but may not have made a substantial intellectual contribution to a paper, while some would give a technician only an acknowledgment at the end of a paper. Some academic supervisors may have their graduate students collect data, do research, and jot down results, yet not give them credit on a paper, while others will provide authorship credit to students. Some foreigners in the usa may feel obligated to place mentors from their home countries on a paper even though they failed to be involved in the study.

Alternatives to ICMJE

Another problem with all the ICMJE guidelines which has come up is the fact that each author may not be in a position to take full responsibility for the totality of a paper. In a day and time of increasing specialization, one person knowing all of the statistical analyses and scientific methodology that went into getting good results might be unlikely. Because of this, some journals, like the British Medical Journal and Lancet, have turned out of the idea of an author and instead think in terms of an individual who is happy to take responsibility when it comes to content associated with paper. The Journal of the American Medical Association also now requires authors to submit a form attesting to your nature of these contribution to a paper.

The British Medical Journal says that listing authorship according to ICMJE guidelines will not clarify that is in charge of overall content and excludes those whose contribution happens to be the number of data. The journal lists contributors in two ways: it publishes the authors’ names at the beginning of the paper, and lists contributors, some of whom may not be included as authors, at the end, and provides details of who planned, conducted, and reported the work as a result. One or more associated with contributors are thought “guarantors” for the paper. The guarantor must definitely provide a written statement that he or she accepts full responsibility for the conduct associated with the study, had access to the info, and controlled your decision to create. BMJ says that researchers must determine among themselves the particular nature of every person’s contribution, and encourages discussion that is open all participants.

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A clause concerning contributorship: “Editors are strongly encouraged to develop and implement a contributorship policy, along with an insurance plan on identifying that is accountable for the integrity regarding the work as a complete. with additional knowing of the issue, ICMJE now has in its guidelines”

E. Other authorship responsibilities

Besides clarifying the issue of who is an author and who deserves credit for work, an author has many other responsibilities (what exactly is the following has been adapted from Michael Kalichman’s educational material when it comes to University of California, San Diego):

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  • Good writing: Authors must write well and explain methods, data analysis and conclusions so a reader can understand them and be able to replicate findings. Charts, tables and graphs must be clear also.
  • Accuracy: Although every effort must certanly be designed to not have mistakes in a paper, be they in a footnote or through the research itself, unintentional errors creep in. Authors should be careful.
  • Context and citations: The author needs to put research into appropriate context and supply citations within the manuscript that both agree and disagree using the work.
  • Publishing negative results: If researchers never publish negative results, it makes a impression that is false biases the literature. If answers are not published from a drug trial, for example, that either shows a medication doesn’t work or has side effects, clinicians reviewing the literature could easily get the wrong impression concerning the medication’s true value. As a result, other researchers may continue with studies about a potentially bad drug.

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