An author is generally considered to be an individual who has made substantial intellectual contributions to a scientific investigation. Submissions must include a statement of author responsibility specifying the contribution made by each author.
- To qualify for authorship, each author should meet conditions (a), (b), and (c). (a) Contributorship: Contribute significantly to the conception, design, execution, and/or analysis and interpretation of data. (b) Authorship: Participate in drafting, reviewing, and/or revising the manuscript for intellectual content. (c) Approval: Approve the manuscript to be published.
- When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.
- An administrative relationship, acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of a research group alone does not constitute authorship.
- All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
- We do not require all authors to sign the cover letter upon submission, nor do we impose an order upon the list of authors.
As a practical matter in the case of publications with multiple authors, one author should be designated as the corresponding author. The corresponding author assumes overall responsibility for the manuscript, and also often serves as the managerial and corresponding author, as well as providing a significant contribution to the research effort. A corresponding author is not necessarily the principal investigator or project leader. The corresponding author is responsible for:
- Authorship: Including as co-authors all and only those individuals who meet the authorship criteria set forth in this policy.
- Approval: Providing the draft of the manuscript to each individual contributing author for review and consent for authorship. The corresponding author should obtain from all coauthors their agreement to be designated as such and their approval of the manuscript. A journal may have specific requirements governing author review and consent, which must be followed.
- Integrity: The corresponding author is responsible for the integrity of the work as a whole, and ensuring that reasonable care and effort has been taken to determine that all the data are complete, accurate, and reasonably interpreted.
- The corresponding author acts as the point of contact between all co-authors and OA text, both before and after publication. After publication, the corresponding author will remain our point of contact for any inquiries regarding the article, supplementary material, and major datasets associated with the article, and is responsible for communicating any issues that may arise after publication to her or his co-authors. OA Text Journals also allow two coauthors to be specified as having contributed equally to the work being described (most often used for co-first authors), but prefer authors to use the "author contributions" style for reader clarity.
An individual retains the right to refuse co-authorship of a manuscript if s/he does not satisfy the criteria for authorship.