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Non-Clinical Medicine - Science Policy

Less Work, Less Respect: Authors' Perceived Importance of Research Contributions and Their Declared Contributions to Research Articles
Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Author: Ana Ivaniš et al.

by Ana Ivaniš, Darko Hren, Matko Marušic, Ana Marušic


Attitudes towards authorship are connected with authors' research experience and with knowledge of authorship criteria of International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The objective of this study was to assess association between authors' perceived importance of contributions for authorship qualification and their participation in manuscripts submitted to a journal.


Authors (n?=?1181) of 265 manuscripts submitted to the Croatian Medical Journal were asked to identify and rate their contribution in the preparation of the submitted manuscript (0 – none to 4 – full for 11 listed contributions) and the importance of these contributions as authorship qualifications (0 – none to 4 – full). They were randomly allocated into 3 groups: the first (n?=?90 manuscripts, n?=?404 authors) first received the contribution disclosure form and then contribution importance-rating questionnaire; the second (n?=?88 manuscripts, n?=?382 authors) first received the rating questionnaire and then the contribution disclosure form, and the third group (n?=?87 manuscripts, n?=?395 authors) received both questionnaires at the same time. We compared authors' perception of importance of contribution categories.


1014 (85.9%) authors of 235 manuscripts responded. Authors who declared contribution to a specific category rated it as more important for authorship than those authors who did not contribute to the same category (P>0.005 for all contribution categories, Mann-Withney test). Authors qualifying for ICMJE authorship rated all contribution categories higher than non-qualifying authors. For all contributions, associations between perceived importance of contribution and actual author's contribution were statistically significant.


Authorship seems to be not a normative issue subjective to categorization into criteria, but also a very personal view of the importance and value of one's contributions.