Transparency in Author Contributions in Science (TACS)

The National Academy of Sciences has created a TACS (Transparency in Author Contributions in Science) webpage to list the journals that commit to setting authorship standards, defining responsibilities for corresponding authors, requiring ORCID iDs, and adopting the CRediT taxonomy. The site will also include those funding agencies that adopt ORCID iDs and accept the CRediT taxonomy. Our goal is to use this webpage not only as a mechanism to measure growing transparency in authorship, but also as a resource for sharing and exchanging best practices in authorship policies that can inform discussions at university and research laboratories and departments.

Journal name/familyCriteria for AuthorshipResponsibilities of Corresponding Author

Requirement for ORCIDAuthorship CRediT
Anesthesiology ICMJE. See instructions to authors.  ICMJE. See instructions to authors. No. No.
Annals of Neurology This journal follows the standard of the Society for Neuroscience and their Journal of Neuroscience. The editorial on this explains the difference. The main issue is that they feel that merely collecting data, a role that is often occupied by a technician who may have little knowledge about or interest in the purpose of the study, is not sufficient for being an author of a scientific paper. They feel that an author must have also participated in the ANALYSIS of the data for that particular study. They offer a second rung of authorship for clinicians who contribute patients to a large clinical trial or database, where they had little if anything to do with the organization, and may not have participated in the design, analysis, or writing of the paper.  The journal groups them as a “Study Group” whose members and affiliations are listed at the end of the paper (thus allowing PubMed to list the publication under their name, even though they are not named authors). They do this for two reasons. First, the physicians who contribute patients often contribute substantial cognitive work toward identifying the correct patient population, and the data they enter may represent some cognitive input on their part. Second, the number of physicians who participate in such studies is often in the dozens, and it becomes very difficult to apportion credit if every paper using their data has over 100 authors. The journal feel that having the smaller team who actually conceive of and design the study; or who do data acquisition AND analysis; or who actually write the paper, deserve authorship credit and the others should get credit as a Study Group. The corresponding author must write the cover letter, ensuring that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors, and that the manuscript has not been submitted simultaneously elsewhere. The journal permits the corresponding author on the review process to be a different individual than the corresponding author on the eventual publication. The corresponding author for the review process is often the first author, typically a more junior person who gathered all the permissions and uploaded the files. This role is enforced by the time-consuming nature of all of the uploading required for a modern journal website. If the most senior person had to do this for all of the papers from their group, they would have little time for anything else. The corresponding author on the publication is typically the last author, who is often the one who organized the study, knows the roles of the different participants, and will be the one who will stay in that field and be responsible for questions about the paper in the future.  However, the journal lets the authors decide this for themselves. The journal has not done this in the past, but may eventually start. This is particularly useful for Asian authors, as there may be many individuals who have the same name or the same combination of initials and family name. The journal gets about 25% of their manuscripts from Asian countries, so this is becoming increasingly important. Given that their criteria for authorship do not consider many of the things that the CRediT system considers as roles for authors (e.g., management, providing reagents, acquiring data without being involved in analysis), the editors would not want to use this system. More importantly, they are not sure that they see the need for it. The editors are of the opinion that this information is not of much value, except maybe to the Nobel committee, or perhaps to scholars about publication. But the editors are not sure that others should be saddled with providing a 14-point response for each of a dozen or more authors to satisfy their curiosity, or that it is in the interest of the publishers to collect and curate this information for them for free. From the journal’s point of view, their criteria for authorship are very clear and rigorous, and the editors would not want to muddy the waters by having authors provide an additional set of documents that inquire about things that they do not consider sufficient for designation of authorship.
American Gastroenterological Association (all journals, which include Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Cellular and Molecular Gastroentrology and Hepatology) These journals follow the ICMJE guidelines for authorship: Each author must have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content of the paper and must approve of the final version of the manuscript. Authorship should be based on substantive contributions to each of the following: Conception and design of the study; generation, collection, assembly, analysis and/or interpretation of data; drafting or revision of the manuscript; approval of the final version of the manuscript. Author involvement should be delineated on the title page, as well as any writing assistance, if applicable. The corresponding author assumes full responsibility for supplying the following information on the title page at manuscript submission: For each author, disclosure of any financial arrangement with any company whose product figures prominently in the submitted manuscript or that makes a competing product; or a statement for each author that there is no conflict to disclose. A disclosure of all funding sources supporting the work and all institutional or corporate affiliations. A list of individuals who provided writing assistance for the manuscript and the source of funds that supported this assistance. In addition, at manuscript submission, corresponding authors must attest to several author statements in the manuscript management system, thereby assigning copyright of the manuscript to the AGA Institute and affirming authorship responsibility, manuscript originality, payment of author fees, IRB/animal care committee approval, role of study sponsor, financial disclosures, and funding sources. For any authors that are added or removed on revisions, we ask the CA to explain the reason. Strongly encouraged for all authors; the journals are investigating how to publish ORCID IDs for all authors. CRediT implementation scheduled for late summer 2018.
American Geophysical Union (all journals) Yes, following recommendations. Yes, following recommendations. Required for Corresponding; encouraged strongly for all. Optional across all journals—will be included in metadata starting in 2019.
American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (all journals) Each author's contributions to the manuscript as detailed on the Authorship Responsibility, Financial Disclosure, and Chemical Structure Statement Form are published in the paper. All of the appropriate individuals must be named as authors of the work. Each of the applicable authorship categories from the form is to be listed followed by the last name of each respective author (and first initials when multiple authors share a last name). See the Instructions to Authors for additional information. The corresponding author is responsible for submitting a completed Authorship Responsibility, Financial Disclosure, and Chemical Structure Statement Form for all authors and serves as the primary contact person. The corresponding author is also responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright owner to reproduce or modify figures and tables and to reproduce text from previous publications. Not required but encouraged. No.
Biophysical Journal Yes. See Authorship section in Guidelines for Authors. Yes. See Corresponding Author section in Guidelines for Authors. No. Authorship contribution statements are mandatory. Have not adopted CRediT taxonomy—statements are open ended. May revisit.
The BMJ The BMJ requires that all those designated as authors should meet all four ICMJE criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. The journal recognises only natural persons as authors. These authorship criteria are intended to reserve the status of authorship for those who deserve credit and can take responsibility for the work. The criteria are not intended for use as a means to disqualify colleagues from authorship who otherwise meet authorship criteria by denying them the opportunity to meet criterion #s 2 or 3. Therefore, all individuals who meet the first criterion should have the opportunity to participate in the review, drafting, and final approval of the manuscript. The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors. In addition to a corresponding author, the journal requires the designation of a guarantor (who may be, but not necessarily, the corresponding author.) The guarantor accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish. From corresponding author, only after acceptance. The BMJ lists contributors in two ways. Firstly, they publish a list of authors' names at the beginning of the paper and, secondly, they list contributors (some of whom may not be included as authors) at the end of the paper, giving details of who did what in planning, conducting, and reporting the work. This is a good place to include contributions by patients or members of the public who have assisted as research volunteers, giving their names and specific roles. They encourage authors to fully acknowledge the contribution of patients and the public to their research where appropriate. They do not have a formal taxonomy.
Cell Press Family Journals All authors should make a significant scientific contribution to the paper. All authors assume joint responsibility for the content of the paper.  Other contributions that do not constitute authorship should be denoted in the Acknowledgements section. All papers must include an Author Contributions section delineating the role that each author played. All corresponding authors bear responsibilities 1–8 below; the lead contact (limited to 1 person only) additionally bears responsibility 9.
1.  Supervising the work
2.  Being responsible for all data, figures, and text
3.  Ensuring that authorship is granted appropriately to contributors
4.  Ensuring that all authors approve the content and submission of the paper
5.  Ensuring adherence to all editorial and submission policies
6.  Identifying and declaring conflicts of interest on behalf of all authors
7.  Identifying and disclosing related work by any co-authors under consideration elsewhere
8.  Archiving unprocessed data and ensuring that figures accurately present the original data (see Data Archiving section)
9.  Communicating with the journal (before and after publication), being accountable for fulfilling requests for reagents and resources, and arbitrating decisions and disputes.
Voluntary, not required. Use of the CRediT system in Author Contributions section is encouraged but not required.
The Company of Biologists’ Journals

Development

Journal of Cell Science

Journal of Experimental Biology

Disease Models & Mechanisms

Biology Open
An author is someone who has made significant and substantial contributions to a study. This should include conceptualization, design (methodology), investigation (performing experiments or data/evidence collection) and formal analysis of the findings being published, and drafting and revising the article.
The journals use the CRediT Taxonomy to define author contributions to primary research papers and require that the independent contributions of each author be provided during online submission. Each author on a paper may have one or more CRediT contribution roles, but having a role described by the taxonomy does not automatically qualify someone as an author. Author contributions will be included in the final published article.
Yes. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure that contributions are agreed on by ALL co-authors prior to manuscript submission. All corresponding authors are required to submit an ORCID iD. For authors providing a non-institutional email address (e.g. Gmail), an ORCID identifier is also required. It is best practice to use an ORCID iD to identify each author. Yes. Has implemented the CrediT taxonomy.
Endocrine Society Journals

Yes, following ICMJE recommendations.

Yes, following ICMJE recommendations.

Required for Corresponding from June 2018, all “strongly encouraged.” Consideration in process.
Journal of Cell Biology Yes, follow ICMJE. Yes. Required for corresponding author, encouraged for all authors. Author contribution statement required, Credit taxonomy suggested.
Journal of Experimental Medicine Yes, follow ICMJE. Yes. Required for corresponding author, encouraged for all authors. Author contribution required, Credit taxonomy suggested.
Journal of General Physiology Yes, follow ICMJE. Yes. Required for corresponding author, encouraged for all authors. Author contribution required, Credit taxonomy suggested.
Nature Research (Nature-branded journals, SciRep, NPJs, Communications journals) Yes. Yes. Required for Corresponding; encouraged for all  
New England Journal of Medicine Yes, following ICMJE recommendations. Represent the authorship group with the journal. Be the point of contact with the journal. No requirement. Authors are welcome to provide their ORCID and if the journal has it, they will send it with the XML to Crossref. There is a place in the submissions form to provide the ORCID and validate it. The journal does not used CRediT taxonomy.
PLOS family of journals Yes, following ICMJE. Yes. Required for Corresponding; encouraged strongly for all. Yes and included in metadata.
Proceedings of the IEEE Authorship and co-authorship should be based on a substantial intellectual contribution. It is assumed that all authors have had a significant role in the creation of an article that bears their names.
Therefore, the list of authors on an article serves multiple purposes; it indicates who is responsible for the work and to whom questions regarding the work should be addressed. Moreover, the credit implied by authorship is often used as a measure of the contributors’ productivity when they are evaluated for employment, promotions, grants, and prizes.
 
The IEEE affirms that authorship credit must be reserved for individuals who have met each of the following conditions:
a. Made a significant intellectual contribution to the theoretical development, system or experimental design, prototype development, and/or the analysis and interpretation of data associated with the work contained in the article;
b. Contributed to drafting the article or reviewing and/or revising it for intellectual content; and
c. Approved the final version of the article as accepted for publication, including references.
In the case of articles with multiple authors, a “corresponding” author must be designated as having responsibility for overseeing the publication process and ensuring the integrity of the final document. The corresponding author accepts the responsibility for:
a. Including as co-authors all persons appropriate and none inappropriate;
b. Obtaining from all co-authors their assent to be designated as such, as well as their approval of the final version of the article as accepted for publication; and
c. Keeping all co-authors apprised of the current status of an article submitted for publication, including furnishing all co-authors with copies of the reviewers’ comments and a copy of the published version, as appropriate.
Required for all authors. Not supported.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) Authorship must be limited to those who have contributed substantially to the work. All collaborators share some degree of responsibility for any paper they coauthor. Some coauthors have responsibility for the entire paper as an accurate, verifiable report of the research. These include coauthors who are accountable for the integrity of the data reported in the paper, carry out the analysis, write the manuscript, present major findings at conferences, or provide scientific leadership to junior colleagues. Coauthors who make specific, limited contributions to a paper are responsible for their contributions but may have only limited responsibility for other results. While not all coauthors may be familiar with all aspects of the research presented in their paper, all collaborators should have in place an appropriate process for reviewing the accuracy of the reported results. The corresponding author must serve as the Guarantor of the Work to certify that at least one author, usually a senior author, has seen all primary data, has approved the presentation of the data, and will abide by the PNAS policy on Materials and Data Availability to make materials, data, and associated protocols available to readers. The corresponding author must have obtained permission from all authors for the submission of each version of the paper and for any change in authorship. Corresponding authors are strongly encouraged to provide their ORCID and all authors are encouraged to link their PNAS profile to their ORCID ID. Authors must indicate their specific contributions to the published work and this information will be published as a footnote to the paper. Authors may select from a list of standard designations: Designed research, Performed research, Contributed new reagents or analytic tools, Analyzed data, Wrote the paper, or provide their own description. An author may list more than one contribution, and more than one author may have contributed to the same aspect of the work.
Royal Society family of journals Yes, follow ICMJE.  Yes, ICMJE. Required for Corresponding; encouraged strongly by all. Yes, authorship contribution statements are mandatory.
Science Family of Journals Yes, following recommendations. Yes, following recommendations. First and Corresponding required, all encouraged. On IT roadmap for 2018 implementation.
Wellcome Open Research Criteria for authorship are based on the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Being an author implies full responsibility for the article’s content and that the work conforms to the editorial policies. For large, multi-centre collaborations, the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript must be listed as authors. Details of each author’s contribution must be listed in the Author contributions section. Anyone who has contributed but does not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. The involvement of any professional medical writer assistance must be declared. Yes, following ICMJE. Required for Corresponding. Has implemented the CRediT taxonomy.


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