It is the responsibility of the first author to provide the editorial team with the complete list of all authors and contributing individuals in the manuscript. Before submission, the first author ensures that all authors are included in the author list, its order has been agreed by all authors, and that all authors are aware that the paper was submitted. Our definition of authorship and non-author contributors is taken from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which provides authorship criteria applicable beyond the medical sector (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html).
Who is an author?
The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:
1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.
All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged as non-author contributor.
Who is a non-author contributor?
Contributors who meet fewer than all 4 of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. [...] Because acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions, editors are advised to require that the [first or] corresponding author obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals.
Consequently, the first author is required to provide the editorial team with a statement of responsibility in the manuscript that specifies the contribution of every author and non-author contributors. In addition, the first author ensures that all written permissions from all acknowledged non-author contributors included in the manuscript have been obtained.
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