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Responsible Conduct of STEM Research: Authorship

Tips and sources to help you conduct sci-tech research in an ethical and responsible manner.

From the experts

Watch the ACS video "How to Write a Paper to Communicate Your Research."  See more ACS Research 101 videos.

From the experts

Watch the ACS video "Publishing Your Research 101 - Ep.5
Ethical Considerations for Authors and Reviewers."  See more ACS Research 101 videos.

Test your manuscript

Retracted Articles

Don't let it happen to you!

for Grad Students

Authorship Presentations by UF Faculty

Dr. Christine Miller, Dept of Entomology & Nematology, shares the authorship guidelines used in her lab.

Best Practices


  • Who funded the research or the publication process?
  • Who did the work? Who merits authorship? Which non-authors merit an acknowledgement?
  • Is the work original? Has the research been published before?  Are primary data sources identified?
  • Follow responsible publication practices.


  • How is collaborative research defined in your discipline?
  • Establish roles and authorship at the beginning of a project, and create partnering agreements.  Who should be the authors of your article, and who merits acknowledgement rather than authorship?  
  • Consider the widely-recognized standards of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which state authorship credit should be based on:
    • 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
    • 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
    • 3) final approval of the version to be published.
    • Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.

Overlapping publication:

  • Does your submission meet editors' definitions of "original" work?
  • Is your work acceptable as a clearly-labeled duplicate or secondary work?
  • Rules may vary for publishing works that were originally presented orally or as a poster at a conference.  Check with the editors.
  • Check Publishers' Guidelines (box at right) for examples of instructions and definitions.

Reusing text or images from published articles:

  • Permissions for reuse are controlled by the publisher of each article.  Most publishers provide a form or instructions for requesting permission to use their material.  The permission response will state the text you must include in your work.
  • If you cannot identify a publisher, contact the copyright holder for permission.  The author may be the copyright holder.
  • Many publishers do not explicitly address reuse in dissertations.  On the permission form, clearly state your intent to reuse material in your dissertation.
  • Examples of permission instructions: ACS general, ACS dissertations, Elsevier, IEEE, RSC, Springer, Wiley.

Authorship Guides and Case Studies

Publishers' Guidelines

Many publishers provide instructions that govern manuscript preparation and intellectual property rights.  These instructions may guide your responsible writing and citing practices.  Examples:

for Editors and Publishers

Authorship issues

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