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Authorship is a mechanism that enables those who made a significant intellectual contribution related to a scholarly work product to receive credit for that contribution. Being listed as an author entails a willingness to be held accountable for the authenticity of the described work.  Among other ethical responsibilities, authors must present their work accurately, honestly, and sincerely.

Authorship norms and conventions can vary depending on many factors including disciplinary practices, institutional policies, and guidelines from professional journals.  However, common authorship criteria in STEM fields include whether each person:

  • Made a significant scientific/intellectual contribution;
  • Had a role in writing and/or revising the work product;
  • Reviewed the final work product and agreed to have their name listed on it; and
  • Expressed a willingness to be held accountable for all (or at least some portion) of the work product.

Normally all four of the above criteria, and perhaps others as well, guide determinations on who deserves authorship on a scholarly work product.  To help facilitate discussions about authorship within research teams, the Authorship and Research Collaboration Plan document has been created. A short version of the document has been developed as well.  In addition, sample authorship criteria and guidelines from professional organizations are listed below.

It is important to note that being an author on a publication does not necessarily bestow ownership of the data, or if relevant, intellectual property, described in the publication. The criteria for determining ownership of data or intellectual property (IP) can vary from those used to guide authorship decisions. For more information about IP, refer to the GT Intellectual Property Policy.

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Sample Authorship Criteria


Guidance for Authorship & Authorship Disputes

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Other Links & Resources

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