Recommendation 12: Scienti Journal
Authors of an original scientific publication shall be all those, and only those,
who have made significant contributions to the conception of studies or ex-
periments, to the generation, analysis and interpretation of the data, and to
preparing the manuscript, and who have consented to its publication, thereby
assuming responsibility for it. Some journals demand that this be documented
through the signatures of all authors. Others ask for a written statement to this
effect by the corresponding author as the person responsible for a manuscript
as a whole and in all its details. Where not all authors can assume responsibility
for the entire content of a publication, some journals recommend an identifica-
tion of individual contributions (24).
Therefore, the following contributions on their own are not sufficient to jus-
tify authorship:
merely organisational responsibility for obtaining the funds for the research,
providing standard investigation material,
the training of staff in standard methods,
merely technical work on data collection,
merely technical support, such as only providing equipment or experimental
regularly providing datasets only,
only reading the manuscript without substantial contributions to its content,
directing an institution or working unit in which the publication originates.
Help of this kind can be acknowledged in footnotes or in the foreword.
Honorary authorship” is generally not considered to be acceptable under any
circumstances. Neither the position of institute director and supervisor nor for-
mer supervisor justify designation as co-author.
To avoid conflicts concerning authorship, timely and clear agreements are
recommended, in particular when there is a large number of contributors to the
findings, to serve as guidelines for resolving disputes.
The sequence in which authors are listed must take account of the particular
conventions of the discipline in question. Equivalent standards should be ap-
plied in each discipline.
Particularly in the natural and life sciences, research is often carried out
jointly with others. Researchers working together on a project are mutually
obliged to encourage a spirit of collaboration. This includes raising doubts about
the quality of research results or procedures at the appropriate time.
It conflicts with the rules of good scientific practice to cease contributing
without sufficient reason or, as a co-author on whose agreement publication
depends, to prevent publication where there are no urgent grounds to do so.
Refusals to publish must be justified with verifiable criticism of data, methods
or results. Should co-authors suspect an obstructive refusal to give agreement,
they must ask ombudspersons and the Ombuds Commission (cf. Recommen-
dations 5 and 16) to mediate. If the ombudsperson is persuaded that there is
deliberate obstruction, he or she can issue a statement permitting the other
researchers to publish. The matter must be disclosed in the publication, includ-