Co-authorship Resources


This blog is divided into two parts, the first part covers authorship rules, and the second part covers authorship etiquettes, ending with recommendations.


Science is increasingly done in large teams, making it more likely that papers will be written by several authors from different institutes, disciplines, and cultural backgrounds. A small number of “Ten simple rules” papers have been written on collaboration and on writing but not on combining the two.


This document contains ethical guidelines for the Humanities, Law and Theology, Medicine, Social Sciences and Psychology, Science, Mathematics and Technology as well as central questions of co-authorship, and handling authorship disputes.


Historically the single authored paper has been a mainstay of social scientific and humanistic research writing. However, co-authorship is now for many social science disciplines the default mode of academic authorship. Reflecting on this, Helen Kara, provides some key insights and advice for authors looking to co-write and co-publish in an ethical way.


This post answers the questions, ‘What are the standards of honest co-authorship in philosophy?’ Co-authorship is complex, and as a spouse of someone who works in a STEM field, I've experienced many of these complexities second-hand. My sense is that in science, there doesn't seem to be any exact standard of how to settle co-authorship (including the order of co-authors listed). Instead, there appear to be some general rules of thumb that co-authors often broadly negotiate these matters according to, but which are not always respected.


The intent of this document is to serve as a general guideline for consideration of important issues surrounding authorship as scholars construct a piece of work for public distribution.


Duke University has instituted authorship guidelines and dispute resolution procedures to supplement its policy on Misconduct in Research (see Appendix P, Faculty Handbook). A separate but complementary policy was deemed advisable because many allegations of misconduct actually stem from and involve disputes over authorship. Because disputes over authorship rarely involve research misconduct, the Misconduct in Research policy is usually not the appropriate mechanism for resolving such disputes.


It is the policy of The Pennsylvania State University that proper credit be given to those individuals who make material contributions to activities which lead to scholarly reports, papers and publications.  Rigid prescriptive requirements in this area are considered unwise, because the situation with respect to co-authorship varies from one discipline to another and from one publication to another. Nevertheless, it is recommended that the authors of scholarly reports, papers and publications abide by the following principles regarding co-authorship.


Authorship is increasingly important. Research steadily becomes more interdisciplinary and international and is often carried out as cooperative projects with many participants. Academic authorship is used as a basis for reputation, employment, and even income. This resource discusses

Ethical guidelines for co-authorship in different research fields, the kinds of contribution that should qualify for authorship, the order of authors on the by-line of an article, the handling of co-authorship disputes, and matters of academic integrity.


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