A Guide to Prevent and Resolve Contributor-ship Disputes and Identify Genuine Contributors

OARS aims to minimize unethical behavior by providing countermeasures and guidelines to prevent conflicts. This guide, created with expert input, aims to assist new researchers in navigating authorship issues. We encourage feedback to improve this guide and make it more user-friendly.

Authorship can be a contentious matter. Discrepancies often arise when deserving individuals are overlooked, while others who contributed little receive credit.

The authors list should accurately reflect the identities and contributions of those involved, assigning rights and responsibilities accordingly. Editors and authors may have differing opinions on authorship, so it is essential to refer to reliable sources.

Researchers must maintain trustworthiness when reporting their work. This guide offers strategies to avoid and resolve authorship disputes, providing solutions to common problems.

Key Points to Minimize Authorship Issues

People often misrepresent authorship by including names of non-contributors (gift authorship) or excluding contributors (ghost authorship).
Prevention is better than cure. Promote ethical practices by educating authors and sharing editor opinions.
Establish regular meetings to discuss research, publications, and roles within the team.
Maintain clear communication to prevent misunderstandings and disputes.
Draft written authorship agreements before beginning the writing process.
Address differences between editors and authors by considering two categories: disputes and misbehavior.
If a superior instructs you to add or remove an author's name, try to discuss the matter politely, providing evidence if necessary. If unsuccessful, consider seeking intervention from a higher authority.
If you suspect someone of violating authorship rules, address the issue in a team meeting and maintain written records.
Discuss the consequences of unresolved authorship conflicts and use authorship as a negotiation tool when disagreements arise.
If your name is included or excluded without consent, contact the other authors and, if necessary, the journal to request a corrigendum or erratum.
Journals may recognize contributors who are not authors in the "Acknowledgments" section.
Authorship disputes may be addressed through pleas, contributorship, and guarantorship.
Review author guidelines and instructions to ensure a high-quality publication.
Agree upon the number and sequence of contributors before starting a project to avoid conflicts.

By following these guidelines, researchers can minimize disputes and foster a more collaborative and ethical environment for conducting and publishing research.

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