by Mike Wheeler
University Compliance Office
Ethics can be defined as a system of principles pertaining to rights
and wrongs of certain actions in respect to a particular group or
culture. In other words, a particular body of individuals defines the
acceptable ethical actions within their group.
The ethical criteria for co-authorship credit for publications are not
defined in MUSC policy or procedure. Therefore, the criteria for
co-authorship are important to define whenever initiating collaborative
scholarly activities. Co-authorship resulting from the proposed
research will be discuss and agreed upon by the members of the study
team or staff of the laboratory. In addition, when personnel exit as
members of a study team or laboratory staff, the co-authorship credit
criteria should once again be discussed with this individual.
Co-authorship credit should be based on substantial contributions to:
- The conception and design or analysis and interpretation of data;
- Drafting the article or critically revising the intellectual content; and/or
- Approval of the final version submitted for publication.
Each co-author should
have participated sufficiently to take public responsibility for
appropriate portions of the content of the publication. Acquisition of
funding, collection of data or general supervision of the study team or
laboratory staff does not in itself justify co-authorship.
All contributors not meeting the criteria for co-authorship should be
listed in an “Acknowledgements” section. An example of an
acknowledgement may include an individual providing purely technical or
writing assistance or a departmental chair providing only general
The ethical criteria for submission reviews concerning grants and/or
awards are also not defined in MUSC policy or procedure. Before using
someone’s name on a submission for a grant and/or award, the individual
should be contacted and grant permission. In addition, this individual
should be provided an opportunity to review the submission prior to
allowing the use of their name.
By following these guidelines, principal investigators can help ensure
all employees meet a reasonable, ethical standard of conduct concerning
co-authorship and submission reviews.
Friday, July 24, 2009