The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)
An author is an individual who has made a genuine, identifiable contribution to the content of a research publication of text, data or software. All authors agree on the final version of the work to be published. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, they share responsibility for the publication. Authors seek to ensure that, as far as possible, their contributions are identified by publishers or infrastructure providers such that they can be correctly cited by users.
The contribution must add to the research content of the publication. What constitutes a genuine and identifiable contribution must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and depends on the subject area in question. An identifiable, genuine contribution is deemed to exist particularly in instances in which a researcher – in a research-relevant way – takes part in
- the development and conceptual design of the research project, or
- the gathering, collection, acquisition or provision of data, software or sources, or
- the analysis/evaluation or interpretation of data, sources and conclusions drawn from them, or
- the drafting of the manuscript.
If a contribution is not sufficient to justify authorship, the individual’s support may be properly acknowledged in footnotes, a foreword or an acknowledgement. Honorary authorship where no such contribution was made is not permissible. A leadership or supervisory function does not itself constitute co-authorship.
Collaborating researchers agree on authorship of a publication. The decision as to the order in which authors are named is made in good time, normally no later than when the manuscript is drafted, and in accordance with clear criteria that reflect the practices within the relevant subject areas. Researchers may not refuse to give their consent to publication of the results without sufficient grounds. Refusal of consent must be justified with verifiable criticism of data, methods or results.
When preparing a publication in which several individuals are to be involved, it is advisable to set down the following items in writing early on: who will make what contribution, who will be named as the author, and whose contribution will be mentioned in the acknowledgements. Ideally, the order of authors should also be recorded at this point, potentially based on a written agreement.
If, during the process of creating the publication, the actual contributions differ from those set down in the written agreement, it can be helpful to incorporate this in writing afterwards.
The agreement reached in advance serves to identify the genuine individual contributions of each participant.
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