Norms of assigning authorship and giving credit to participants and contributors vary tremendously by field and discipline—or even by individual department or lab. There is often an assumption that potential authors implicitly understand and share these norms, creating an unnecessary barrier for early career or multidisciplinary researchers.
Who and how to list authors
It is crucial that author guidelines minimally clarify expectations regarding 1) who to list as a publication author; 2) the significance of the order of listed authors; and 3) any differences between those listed as authors versus those listed in the acknowledgments. Consider:
- Who is listed as an author: Contributors to a research article are typically listed as co-authors, and as research becomes increasingly collaborative the list of contributors—and the types of labor that merit co-authorship—might change. Consider getting specific about whether to list students, community partners, or collaborators supporting activities such as data management. The LibraryPress@UF can work with you to implement the CRediT Contributor Roles Taxonomy, which is used by publishers such as PLOS. While CRediT is not yet available as a plugin for Florida OJ, we can explore other avenues like adding acknowledgements to each article or adding CRediT to ORCID profiles.
- Author order: One 2018 study found that while women might increasingly be listed as first authors on multi-authored articles, they were less likely to be listed as corresponding or senior (often last) authors, factors that could undermine perceptions of expertise (Fox et al.).
Name changes and disambiguation
Consider establishing a name change policy that allows authors to modify names and/or pronouns associated with their published work. In 2020, LibraryPress@UF adopted such a policy and will work with any Florida OJ authors or editors to implement changes as needed.
You should also consider tools that will help support name changes across multiple platforms. ORCID is both a tool and platform that associates your scholarly record—your publications, grants, etc.—with a unique identifier that only you can use. One often overlooked benefit of ORCID is that it can promote equity by ensuring authors receive acknowledgment and credit for their work. As journal editors and publishers, we can encourage use of ORCID to support authors who wish to:
- Change their name or add alternative names. Even if a name is changed in an ORCID profile, the identifier remains the same and work continues to be associated with that individual.
- Disambiguate their name. Researchers may not be widely acknowledged for their work in cases where they share the same name as many other authors. This blog post by Nobuko Miyairi describes how ORCID has supported scholars in Asian-Pacific countries such as China, India, and Korea.
UF Chemistry Librarian Michelle Nolan advised on a change to American Chemical Society policy that will facilitate the society’s flagship journal in changing author names on previously published articles to support association of scholarship with the correct name due to reasons such as gender transition or religious conversion. Read about the change.
Like many open access journal publishers, LibraryPress@UF advocates for authors to keep the rights to their publications, including the ability to share widely and even sell their work in other venues such as anthologies. Such policies are more equitable for authors, broaden the potential audience for published work, and can have a positive impact on citations; one study has found that “green” open access articles—those shared somewhere other than the journal of record—receive 33% more citations on average than traditional subscription-based articles.
References & resources
Committee on Publication Ethics. Authorship and contributorship. Retrieved June 12, 2021 from https://publicationethics.org/authorship
2018). The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4375