Q: Can I add names of my colleagues who are not co-authors on my conference poster?

Detailed Question -

I would like to present my study as a poster at a conference, prior to submitting the paper to my target journal. The thing is I would like to add two more colleagues’ names (I have already 2 co-authors) in the conference presentation. The two colleagues' names will be NOT presented in my manuscript when submitting it to the journal though. It would be great if you could give me some advice on this.

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1 Answer to this question

The guidelines for authorship are the same for a conference presentation and a journal article. As per the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), in order for a contributor to be listed as an “author,” he or she must meet four main points:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • 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.

Most journals and academic associations accept these guidelines for defining authorship. So if your conference poster is based on a study you have conducted, only people who meet the criteria for authorship can be listed as authors, both on your conference poster and your subsequent journal submission.

It's not clear to me why you want to list your other colleagues as authors on the conference poster. If they have helped you with the poster design or other aspects related only to the poster, you can list them in the acknowledgements on your poster. If you list them as authors on your conference poster, assuming they do meet the criteria for authorship, then you should list them as authors on your journal paper as well.