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EthicsCaseStudyForm edit

Title Author, author!
Long Title Author, author!
Contributor/Contact John Banja, PhD? (jbanja@emory.edu)
Contributor Details John Banja, PhD?
Director, Section on Ethics in Research
Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
CTSA Emory
Case Study Provided My principal investigator (PI) was preparing a manuscript for publication and had planned to submit it to a high impact journal. After people in the department were made aware of the project and of its novelty, it was thought that the manuscript would likely be accepted.
At that point, my PI was approached by numerous clinicians and postdocs claiming that they had contributed significantly to this work and should be considered manuscript authors. Having worked closely with the first author of the project, granting authorship to these presumptive authors struck me as ridiculous. One of them claimed authorship because he had provided a common dye reagent. Another, whom we hardly ever saw in our lab, claimed it was his idea to do certain experiments that were published in the manuscript—a claim that no one could remember. And there were others.
Although my PI knew these authorship demands were unfounded, he clearly felt pressure as a nontenured faculty member to cooperate with certain postdocs because they had worked in highly productive labs of prominent tenured researchers, and my PI did not want to sour those relationships. Ultimately, there were a lot of backroom negotiations and discussions and two additional authors were added to the manuscript. In my opinion, however, they had contributed nothing to the manuscript.
The paper was eventually accepted in a very influential journal. So it was quite ironic to have our Medical School, a few months later, publish an editorial chastising the increasing number of "phantom" authors on papers that were being published by the School's researchers.
Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership Topics No Data acquisition_management_sharing and ownership Topics
Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities Topics No mentor and trainee responsibilities topics
Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship Topics
The significance of authorship,
Authorship assignment,
Inappropriate authorship practices,
Dealing with controversies that arise in authorship,
Scientific responsibilities of authors
Peer Review Topics

Collaborative Science Topics
Working well with others,
Dealing with challenges in collaborative relationships
Research Misconduct Topics No research misconduct topics
Conflicts of Interest, Law and Policy Topics
Conflicts of commitment
Human Subjects No human subjects
Citation International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication.
URL http://www.actsi.org/areas/erks/ethics/index.html http://www.icmje.org/
RCR Keyword Research Paper, Intellectual Work, Manuscript, Journal, Conflict of Interest, Post-doc
Other RCR Keywords Clinicians; Common Dye Reagent; Contributing; Experiments; First Author; Granting Authorship; Nontenured Faculty; Phantom Authors; Postdocs; Principal Investigator; Tenured Researchers
Type of Case

Source for Topic Areas Du Bois, J., & Dueker, J. (2009). Teaching and Assessing the Responsible Conduct of Research: A Delphi Consensus Panel Report. Journal of Research Administration, 40(1), 49-70.


Topic revision: r1 - 31 Oct 2011 - 17:50:51 - MarkYarborough
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