Authorship Guidelines

Criteria for authorship are a common consideration in academic centers that rely on publication record as a measure of individual accomplishment and that promote collaboration on projects.

All persons cited as authors should qualify for authorship, and all who qualify should be cited. Dartmouth Cancer Center  Shared Resources seek to contribute to the ability of Cancer Center Members to collaborate and to publish. Where the contribution of Shared Resource personnel meets criteria for authorship, these individuals should be cited as authors. The Cancer Center in general seeks to facilitate publication, and each Cancer Center Member on a publication should cite the Cancer Center as part of their organizational affiliation.

Authorship should be discussed at the beginning of a collaboration expected to lead to publication. In determining at the Cancer Center whether the quantity and quality of contribution warrants authorship, credit should be based on substantial contributions to each of the following three areas:

  • Conception or design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • Final approval of the version to be published

Lead authors should arrange that individuals making substantial contributions in the first two areas participate in the third. Design includes substantive input into protocol development, writing one or more sections of a manuscript, or critical review before implementation. Acquisition of data includes implementation of data collection and management activities, advising on specific issues, or regular participation in study meetings. Analysis and interpretation includes planning and directing the analyses, doing the analyses, or preparing written material summarizing results for analyses. Each author should have participated sufficiently to take public responsibility for the content.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group does not always warrant authorship. Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgements section. Examples might be persons who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or general support. Groups of persons who contribute materially to a publication but whose contributions do not warrant authorship may be cited as "participating investigators."