Q: What are the criteria for mentioning the contribution and order of coauthors?

Detailed Question -

What is a criteria of putting contribution and deciding an order of coauthors?

1 Answer to this question

Many journals ask for a statement mentioning the individual contributions of authors in a multi-author paper. While some journals provide a form or a template for this purpose, others leave it open for authors. You can check online for a contributorship template provided by some other journal. That will give you a fairly good idea of what to cover. Here is one such template that you can have a look at.

Based on the ICMJE guidelines for authorship criteria, what you need to do is clarify how each author has contributed to the paper. You need to create a list assigning a person’s name against the following roles or tasks:

  • Conception or design of the work
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Drafting the article
  • Critical revision of the article
  • Final approval of the version to be published

Note that the names of all the co-authors should be written for the last point. Once you draft the contributorship statement, make sure to get it signed by all the co-authors before you submit it to the journal.

You might also find these articles interesting:

Regarding the order of co-authors, different fields follow different conventions. usually, the first author is the person who has made the most significant intellectual contribution to the work, in terms designing the study, acquiring and analyzing data from experiments, and writing the manuscript.

After the first author, the subsequent authors are usually listed as per their contribution to the research, starting with the one who contributed the most to the least. However, sometimes multiple authors may have contributed equally, in which case the order of author names does not matter, and can be done alphabetically. However, in order to avoid any authorship dispute, it is a good practice to discuss authorship and the order of authors at the beginning of the project.

For more details, please go through this post: SLIDE DECK: Authorship (Part 2): Deciding the order of authors on your manuscript