Part II: Writing and Submitting Your Manuscript
The Power of a Byline
Attribution of Authorship
Ethical issues also arise around attribution of authorship. While there is no universally agreed-upon definition of authorship, it is generally accepted that if an individual is listed as an author
- They have contributed some significant piece to the study
- They will take public responsibility for the content of their paper
The best advice is to "decide early on in the planning of a research project who will be credited as authors, as contributors, and who will be acknowledged."13
In general, the order in which authors’ names appear on the manuscript should be governed by the size of their contribution. The author who by consensus has made the most significant contribution to the paper should be listed first.
Professional associations often provide guidance on principles of authorship. For example, the British Psychological Society provides Principles of Publishing for its journals, which includes a lengthy section on authorship.
When co-authorship works best:
It's really critical to know your co-authors and their working style, and to establish clear guidelines for a project -- i.e. who does what and how and by when, who is in charge, order of author names in final product. As co-authors we also have a responsibility to speak up early in the process if the project is moving in a direction we don't agree with. It's easier to change course earlier than later.
-- Crystal Sharp, author