The purpose of this guideline is to define the criteria and process for determining who should be listed as an author or a contributor of a manuscript submitted to this journal. This guideline also aims to ensure that all individuals who have made significant intellectual contributions to the work are given credit and accountability, and that the roles and responsibilities of each author and contributor are transparent and clear.

Criteria for Authorship

Authorship is reserved for those who have made substantial, direct, and intellectual contributions to the work, and who can take public responsibility for it. The journal follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for defining the role of authors and contributors. According to the ICMJE, authorship should be based on the following four criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged as contributors in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript.

Process for Determining Authorship

The individuals who conduct the work are responsible for identifying who meets the authorship criteria and ideally should do so when planning the work, making modifications as appropriate as the work progresses. 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 are properly completed. The corresponding author also takes responsibility for managing any conflicts of interest among the authors and contributors, and for disclosing any potential conflicts of interest to the journal.

The journal requires that all authors provide a statement of their contributions to the work, which will be published along with the manuscript. The journal also requires that all authors disclose any relevant competing interests that might have influenced the work or its interpretation.

Dispute Resolution

In case of any dispute or disagreement about authorship or contributorship, the authors and contributors should try to resolve the issue among themselves, with the guidance of their institutional policies and procedures. If the dispute cannot be resolved, the journal reserves the right to retract the manuscript or publish a correction or expression of concern, depending on the nature and severity of the dispute. The journal also reserves the right to contact the authors’ and contributors’ institutions or funding agencies to seek their assistance in resolving the dispute.