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This policy outlines essential aspects of authorship, including criteria, order, conflict of interest disclosure, acknowledgments, corresponding author responsibilities, and changes in authorship. Adhering to these principles ensures proper credit allocation and promotes the integrity of the publication process.

Authorship criteria: Authors should have made significant contributions to the research and be able to take responsibility for the content of the article. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) provides the following criteria for authorship: (a) substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; (b) drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (c) final approval of the version to be published. All three criteria must be met for authorship.

Order of authorship: The order of authors should reflect the relative contribution of each author to the work. The senior or corresponding author should ensure that all authors meet the authorship criteria and that their contributions are accurately reflected. The journal or publisher should also require a statement from the authors indicating their specific contributions to the work.

Conflict of interest: Authors should disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may influence their work. This includes financial, personal, or professional relationships that may be perceived as influencing the content of the article. The journal or publisher should provide clear guidance on what constitutes a conflict of interest and how it should be disclosed.

Acknowledgments: Contributions that do not meet the authorship criteria, such as technical assistance or funding, should be acknowledged in the article. This includes identifying the sources of financial support for the work.

Large Multicenter Group:

  1. Group authorship: When a large multicenter group has contributed to a study, it may be appropriate to list the group as an author, followed by a list of individual authors who meet the authorship criteria. This acknowledges the contributions of all members of the group while also allowing individual contributors to receive credit for their work.
  2. Group authorship criteria: The criteria for group authorship should be clearly defined and communicated to all members of the group. This may include requirements for membership in the group, minimum contributions to the study, or specific roles or responsibilities.
  3. Collaborative research agreements: The journal or publisher should require that the multicenter group has a collaborative research agreement in place that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each member of the group, the distribution of credit and authorship, and any data sharing or intellectual property rights.
  4. Group authorship order: The order of the group authorship should be agreed upon by all members of the group and should reflect the relative contributions of each member. This may be determined by a steering committee or other governing body.
  5. Individual authorship: Members of the multicenter group who meet the authorship criteria should be listed as individual authors. They should provide a statement indicating their specific contributions to the study, and their order of authorship should reflect their relative contributions.
  6. Dispute resolution: The journal or publisher should have procedures in place for resolving disputes over authorship or credit allocation within the multicenter group. These procedures should be fair, transparent, and consistent with the policies and procedures of the journal or publisher.

Corresponding Author:

  1. Definition: The corresponding author is the author who is responsible for communicating with the journal or publisher regarding the article, including submitting the manuscript, responding to editorial queries, and reviewing proofs.
  2. Selection: The corresponding author may be selected based on their seniority, expertise, or role in the study. The journal or publisher should require that the corresponding author is an author who meets the authorship criteria.
  3. Contact information: The corresponding author should provide complete and accurate contact information, including their name, institutional affiliation, email address, and phone number.
  4. Acknowledgment: The journal or publisher should require that the corresponding author provides an acknowledgment of their role as corresponding author in the manuscript.
  5. Dispute resolution: In the event of a dispute over authorship, the corresponding author should be responsible for resolving the dispute or contacting the journal or publisher for assistance.
  6. Communication: The journal or publisher should communicate with the corresponding author regarding editorial decisions, peer review comments, and other matters related to the publication process.

Changes in Authorship: Changes to authorship after publication should be restricted and subject to editorial review, with clear procedures in place for requesting changes and notifying all authors and stakeholders. Adhering to these policies can help promote the integrity of the publication process and ensure that all contributors receive appropriate credit for their work.

Affiliations: Authors should list their institutional affiliation(s) to clearly indicate their affiliation with the research institution(s) or organization(s) where the research was conducted. Affiliation can also help readers identify potential conflicts of interest, and may be required by some journals or publishers. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that all authors list their correct affiliation(s), and that any changes to affiliation are communicated to the journal or publisher in a timely manner. By accurately reporting affiliation, authors can help ensure transparency and accountability in the publication process, and help readers understand the context of the research.

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