THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH
RESEARCH INVESTIGATOR HANDBOOK
5. Being Responsible
5.2 Authorship and Publication
• What is expected of me as an author?
• What responsibilities are associated with authorship?
• What should I discuss with my co-authors and collaborators?
• Relevant references and
expected of me as an author?
The UCSF Faculty Handbook for Success states “authorship
must reflect substantial scientific involvement in the research
being reported.” However, individual Departments may have
more specific requirements; for example, the UCSF Department
of Neurological Surgery has its own Guidelines on Research
Data and Reports, which specify that each author should:
||Make substantial contributions important to
||Participate critically in the development of the intellectual
content of the report of the study, and
||Read and approve the final version of the manuscript
Authorship conventions vary widely within fields of research
and that biomedical journals may have different requirements.
Some may ask you to document in a letter signed by all of the
named authors that each author agrees to their authorship and
has approved the final version of the manuscript.
The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical
Journals, which are widely endorsed by the biomedical journals
to which most USCF investigators submit their papers, are a useful
reference on this topic.
are associated with authorship?
According to federal guidelines from the National
Institutes of Health and the Office
of Research Integrity, as
well as the accepted standard practices of professional scientific
and journal editor societies, authorship carries with it public
responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole and implies
that each author has certified that they have:
||Read the version of the manuscript being submitted
to the journal,
||Approved that version for publication, and
||Agreed to take public responsibility for its content—if
necessary, in a court of law.
Check with your Department or School to determine
if they require authors to sign an Author’s Agreement,
which is sent to the journal together with the manuscript, or
if they have other policies governing publication and authorship.
What should I discuss
with my co-authors and collaborators?
As early as possible in the experimental design
stage, even before the first data are collected, you should discuss
authorship with your collaborators and coauthors. Important authorship
issues that should be addressed include:
||Who will be named as an author or acknowledged
as a contributor if the study will be submitted for publication?
|| What will be the order of authorship?
||What are the responsibilities and expectations
for each contributor to the study?
||Will data be presented at scientific meetings
prior to manuscript submission?
||Are there any intellectual property or confidentiality
issues that may affect publication?
||Who meets the legal standard for inventor?
Unlike authorship, inventorship is a mater of law and is
determined according to certain legal standards. Never make
promises to collaborators concerning who will qualify as
the inventor. Rather, rely on the legal inventorship determination
performed by patent counsel.
||Has the Office of Technology Management been notified that
the research may have commercial value, whether patentable
or not? Make this disclosure as soon as the invention is
in hand, i.e. well in advance of any public disclosure (even
before abstracts or manuscripts are prepared).
and other resources