As a result, so-called “ghost authorship” may not truly constitute authorship, although in extreme cases, a ghost author may have met all four ICMJE criteria.Even though the ICMJE guidelines do not support writing alone and other focused activities as “substantive intellectual contributions,” they do state that “writing assistance” and other non-author-level technical aid should be cited in the acknowledgments section of a paper.However, it has been argued that writing a manuscript is in fact a significant contribution, particularly because communicating complex scientific findings frequently requires understanding and interpreting the data.
Walsh said that when the work is submitted for publication, the grad students will be identified, so they will not be ghosts.
In this article, we extend our previous discussion of the ethics of manuscript authorship to an issue that haunts both academia and industry: ghost authorship.
(Lead authors were identified because they were listed as the contact person, or, where no contact was provided, because they were the first authors listed in disciplines that follow that convention for lead authors or the last authors listed in disciplines using that convention.) The papers covered a range of disciplines, a range of numbers of authors, and a range of highly cited and not cited at all.
The new paper's authors found not only significant use of guests and ghosts, but wide variation by disciplines.
But he said there is risk on the conflict of interest issue.
For graduate students in particular, being relegated to ghost status can hurt their chances of building up a record on which to be hired and promoted.In other cases, a scientist may employ, but not acknowledge, a ghostwriter to overcome an obstacle to publication, such as poor writing skills, limited time, or a lack of familiarity with journal requirements.Additional unattributed contributions may entail data collection or analysis or other potentially critical facets of the research process.Walsh said the current system of widespread ghost authors makes it more difficult to know if anyone in a study might have a conflict of interest.He said he believes that the primary reason for ghost authors is that primary authors don't believe in sharing credit with, among others, grad students and postdocs.Based on the previously discussed criteria, solely writing or editing a manuscript, for example, does not merit author status; involvement in the study design or data collection/analysis, approval of the final draft of the paper, and accountability for the entire work are also required.Similarly, industry researchers who conduct a study and draft a report based on its results but do not approve the final version are technically not eligible for authorship, whereas a guest author who makes minor contributions to these steps and performs the approval is qualified.One BMJ survey found that such ghost authorship was present in approximately one-tenth of papers published in six medical journals in 2008.How does ghost authorship relate to the authorship guidelines established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)?Significant share of research papers have "guest" authors who didn't perform significant research or "ghost" authors who did but aren't named, study finds. Probably not, according to research released here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. CHICAGO -- If you are reading a research paper, and scan the authors (in some disciplines, an increasingly long list), do you know who played a meaningful role in the work?