Journal of Journal of Lab Animal Research (JLAR) endorses the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidance concerning authorship credit. According to the guidance, the authorship is based on the following 4 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.
Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4”. Authorship is an important aspect of research publication, and all involved authors should agree on the whole contents of the document including authorship. Contributors should be differentiated from authors as recommended by the ICMJE.
Criteria for Authorship
The author is the only one who has made substantial intellectual contributions to the manuscript. Collaborations like technical services, translation, preparation of patients for the study, supplying materials, funding, or facility administrative oversight where the work was done are not, in themselves, sufficient for authorship; however, these contributions may be acknowledged in the manuscript. One author (a “guarantor”) should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole. It is often the corresponding author who submits the manuscript and receives reviews although other authors can play this role. All authors should approve the final version of the manuscript. It is preferable that all authors be familiar with all aspects of the work. However, modern research is often done in teams with complementary expertise so every author may not be equally familiar with all aspects of the work. Therefore, some authors’ contributions may be limited to specific aspects of the work as a whole.
Number and Order of Authors
Editors should not arbitrarily limit the number of authors. There are legitimate reasons for multiple authors in some kinds of research, such as multi-center, randomized controlled trials. In these situations, a subset of authors may be listed with the title, with the notation that they have prepared the manuscript on behalf of all contributors, who are then listed in an appendix to the published article. Alternatively, a “corporate” author (e.g., a “Group” name) representing all authors in a named study may be listed, as long as one investigator takes responsibility for the work as a whole. In either case, all individuals listed as authors should meet the criteria for authorship whether or not they are listed explicitly on the byline. If editors believe the number of authors is unusually large, relative to the scope and complexity of the work, they can ask for a detailed description of each author’s contributions to the work. If some do not meet the criteria for authorship, editors can ask for the removal of their names as a condition of publication.
The authors themselves should decide the order in which authors are listed in an article. No one else knows as well as they do their respective contributions and the agreements they have made among themselves. Many different criteria are used to decide the order of authorship. Among these are relative contributions to the work and, in situations where all authors have contributed equally, alphabetical or random order. Readers cannot know, and should not assume, the meaning of the order of authorship unless the approach to assigning order has been described by the authors. Authors may want to include with their manuscript a description of how the order was decided. If so, editors should welcome this information and publish it with the manuscript.
Authors should note that any chatbots, such as ChatGPT do not meet ICMJE authorship. Therefore, all authors who participate in the manuscript should meet the authorship criterion, meaning that chatbots cannot be considered authors.
When using chatbots, authors are required to transparently mention the chatbot used (name, version, model, source) and method of application in the paper they are submitting (query structure, syntax), which is in line with ICMJE recommendation of acknowledging writing assistance.
Authors should take responsibility for the text produced by a chatbot in their paper. This includes the accuracy of the produced content, the absence of plagiarism, and the appropriate attribution of all sources. Authors are expected to mark the text produced by the chatbot.