Co-authorship can be a source of conflict. For this reason, it is extremely important to clarify the relationship between co-authors early in the research process.

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Topic page about the research process | Pages labeled with ethics

Avoid problems #

Disagreements surrounding co-authorship can be avoided by either writing a clear agreement beforehand, or by attaching a document to the article that describes each of the author's contributions to the research. Colleagues and information sources that have made a signficant contribution to the research results must also be recognized. Research supervisors and editors also have a responsibility to ensure that acknowledgements to real contributions and co-authorship are made. 

The Vancouver Convention is often used as a standard for deciding various issues surrounding co-authorship.

Different academic disciplines have their own practices for determining how to acknowledge contributions and co-authorship.

Doctoral thesis - declaration of co-authorship #

If you are writing a doctoral thesis containing articles with co-authors, your co-authors must hand in signed declarations of co-authorship. The declaration should contain a description of your and the co-authors' contribution to the article. It is of particular importance that your independent contribution can be identified. The declaration includes consent to the article being included in your thesis.

Declaration of co-authorship (pdf) | Declaration of co-authorship (doc)

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