The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines

A point that is starting a discussion of authorship could 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 ascertain guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted with their journals. The group became known as the 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 evolved and expanded into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which meets annually. The ICMJE gradually has broadened its concerns to incorporate principles that are ethical 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 as well as other statements relating to policy that is editorial. Probably the most update that is recent in November 2003. Approximately 500 biomedical journals subscribe into the guidelines.

Based on the ICMJE guidelines:

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

C. Issues with ICMJE recommendations

Two major difficulties with the ICMJE guidelines are that lots of members of the scientific community are unacquainted with them and many scientists do not sign up for them. In accordance with Stanford University’s Mildred Cho and Martha McKee, writing in Science’s Next Wave in 2002, a 1994 study revealed that 21% of authors of basic science papers and 30% of authors of clinical studies had no involvement into the conception or design of a project, the style associated with study, the analysis and interpretation of data, or even the writing or revisions. Actual practice, it seems, disagrees with ICMJE recommendations.

Eugene Tarnow, writing in Science and Ethics in 2002, reports findings related to the 1994 study. He cited a 1992 study of 1,000 postdoctoral fellows at the University of California, san francisco bay area, for which fewer than half knew about any university, school, laboratory, or departmental guidelines for research and publication. Half thought that being head associated with the laboratory was sufficient for authorship, and slightly fewer thought 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 many other concerns about authorship in the sciences. Tarnow unearthed that 74% regarding the postdoctoral fellows would not recognize the American Physical Society’s guidelines or thought it was vague or open to interpretations that are multiple. Half the respondents thought the principles suggested that obtaining funding was sufficient for authorship, while the other half did not. The findings also revealed that in 75% of the postdoc-supervisor relationships authorship criteria was not discussed; in 61% the postdoc’s criteria are not “clearly agreed upon”; and in 70% for the relationships the criteria for designating other authors had not been “clearly agreed upon.”

Clearly, different laboratories have different practices about who ought to 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 “gift authors,” even though they never have directly contributed into the research. At other institutions, laboratory heads would routinely include as authors technicians and also require performed many experiments but might not have made an important intellectual contribution to a paper, although some will give a technician only an acknowledgment at the conclusion of a paper. Some academic supervisors may have their graduate students collect data, do research, and write up results, yet not provide them with credit on a paper, although some can give authorship credit to students. Some foreigners in the United States may feel obligated to place mentors from their home countries on a paper even though they failed to be involved in the investigation.

Alternatives to ICMJE

Another problem using the ICMJE guidelines that includes come up is that each author may not be able to take full responsibility for the totality of a paper. In a day and time of increasing specialization, one person knowing all the statistical analyses and scientific methodology that went into getting worthwhile results might be unlikely. As a result, some journals, for instance the British Medical Journal and Lancet, have turned out of the notion of an author and instead think with regards to someone who is willing to take responsibility for the content associated with paper. The Journal associated with American Medical Association also now requires authors to submit a form attesting into the nature of the 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 has been the number of data. Because of this, the journal lists contributors in 2 ways: it publishes the authors’ names at the beginning of the paper, and lists contributors, a few of whom is almost certainly not included as authors, at the conclusion, and provides details of who planned, conducted, and reported the task. More than one associated with the contributors are considered “guarantors” of the paper. The guarantor must provide a written statement that he or she accepts full responsibility for the conduct regarding 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 each man or woman’s contribution, and encourages discussion that is open all participants.

American Psychological Association excerpt on publications.
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A clause concerning contributorship: “Editors are strongly encouraged to build up and implement a contributorship policy, as well as a policy on identifying who is responsible for the integrity of this act as a complete. with additional awareness of the problem, ICMJE now has with its guidelines”

E. Other authorship responsibilities

An author has many other doing homework responsibilities (what is listed below has been adapted from Michael Kalichman’s educational material for the University of California, San Diego) besides clarifying the issue of who is an author and who deserves credit for work:

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  • Good writing: Authors must write well and explain methods, data analysis and conclusions so they can be understood by a reader and then replicate findings. Charts, tables and graphs must also be clear.
  • Accuracy: Although every effort ought to be made to not have mistakes in a paper, be they in a footnote or from the research itself, unintentional errors creep in. Authors must certanly be careful.
  • Context and citations: The author needs to put research into appropriate context and supply citations into the manuscript that both agree and disagree aided by the work.
  • Publishing negative results: If researchers never publish negative results, it creates a false impression and biases the literature. If results are not published from a drug trial, as an example, that either shows a medication does not work or has unwanted effects, clinicians reviewing the literature could easily get the wrong impression in regards to the medication’s true value. Because of this, other researchers may continue with studies about a drug that is potentially bad.

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