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Authorship Question



Author(s) Gary Comstock
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Contributor(s) Gary Comstock
Year 2016
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  • James R. Wilson

    Posted 2 years and 9 months ago

    It is improper and usually counterproductive to manipulate an article’s byline in an attempt to influence the editorial review process. Such manipulation includes (i) suppressing the names of “ghost” coauthors against whom some potential editors or referees are thought to be adversely biased; and (ii) adding the names of prominent “guest” coauthors who are thought to enhance the article’s prestige and credibility with some reviewers. At the stage of initial submission of an article for editorial review, some journals give the corresponding author the option to suggest the editor or the referees of the article; and some journals actually require such suggestions. Some journals also give the corresponding author the option to suggest individuals who should not be the editor or a referee for the article. However, the initial submission process is based on the fundamental principle of responsible authorship that all the actual contributors to the article are honestly disclosed. There are also practical grounds for abstaining from manipulations (i) and (ii). At the later stages of resubmission of a revised article or final submission of an accepted article, some journals require the corresponding author to provide the editor with a detailed justification for any changes in the article’s authorship. It is an easily detectable breach of professional ethics to misrepresent or lie about the real reasons for such changes in authorship, and usually the editor can immediately reject the paper if those changes are judged to be questionable or improper.
  • Rachelle  Hollander

    Posted 2 years and 10 months ago

    I believe the proposed course of action is not acceptable because it’s dishonest. Thus, the burden is on the authors to tell us why it should be okay. The rationale is that one of the journal co-editors may be biased. Of course, if she is or is likely to be perceived to be biased, she should recuse herself from the review process. But independently of relying on that editor’s good sense, could not the authors request that be done? Generally that’s a possibility. Perhaps Candice is the most expert in the topic of the submission, but editors often handle submissions in which they are not experts. So I’d advise the authors to submit honestly and ask that Candice not undertake the oversight or process of reviewing the article. To proceed in this manner is a little chancy, but so is the proposed solution, which may wind up creating more untoward consequences.
Cite this page: "Authorship Question" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 9/16/2016 OEC Accessed: Thursday, July 18, 2019 <>