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EthicsCaseStudyForm edit

Title But I Donít Want to Be An Author
Long Title But I Donít Want to Be An 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 This situation occurred shortly after I finished my masterís degree, when I decided to move to another lab to begin my doctoral work. I chose Dr. Jenkinsís lab because of his well-known expertise in an area of pharmacokinetics in which I wanted to concentrate my career.
A few weeks after joining the lab, I thought I had made a mistake because I began feeling somewhat uncomfortable around him. He seemed overly nice and helpful to me, and he was always trying to be charming and funny. These behaviors struck me as clumsy and offputting, but in the two years I worked in his lab, he never made any romantic advances or overtures. Fortunately, as the months went on, I began feeling somewhat more comfortable around him, and I think he did around me.
The ethical incident that still bothers me involved a small grant that the lab got from a pharmaceutical company to generate some data on a compound that was of particular interest to Dr. Jenkins and me. It was agreed and contractually understood that our first manuscript would be published in one of the pharmaceutical companyís publications rather than a peer-reviewed journal. We worked together on the project. While I was in charge of most of the data generation and interpretation, Dr. Jenkins also ran some experiments and contributed. Or at least he seemed to. The problem was that by the time I got to the lab later on in the morning, he had already been there for several hours and heíd give me his data and lab notes. At the end of a few months, we had generated enough findings to justify our writing the paper, which we did. And thatís when the surprise came.
As we were adding some finishing touches, Dr. Jenkins said to me, ďMary, Iíve been very impressed with how youíve done the lionís share of this project, so I want you to be the sole author of this paper. It will be good for your career. I donít need this publication, but it will look good on your CV, especially with you as sole author. So, itís yours. And donít say I never gave you anything, ha, ha, ha.Ē
At first I was really thrilled about this. The only other publication I had was one where I was included with about a dozen other authors, and I was number 8 or 9 on the author list. I thought this opportunity would be really cool.
But then I began having second thoughts. Mostly, they involved the fact that I would be taking credit, as the sole author, for data that I didnít generate. Would that be a misrepresentation? Also, Dr. Jenkins from time to time made a suggestion for a modest change in this or thatówhich we duly noted in our records and reported to the pharmaceutical companyóand that was fine. But those were his ideas that we incorporated into the protocol, not mine. Yet, as sole author, I would be taking credit for the whole thing.
As it happened, we did submit the paper with me as sole author. The pharmaceutical company was fine with it, as long as we acknowledged Dr. Jenkins at the end. Dr. Jenkins was fine with it, as he really didnít need the publication (and, maybe, as I look back on it, he didnít want his name on a non-peer reviewed publication). I went on from his lab to a satisfying career. But Iíve always been bothered by this kind of odd turn of authorship events where, instead of the usual problem of people demanding authorship credit when they donít deserve it, hereís an individual who should have been listed as an author but refused.
Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership Topics No Data acquisition_management_sharing and ownership Topics
Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities Topics
Responsibilities of trainees within the mentorĖtrainee relationship
Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship Topics
The significance of authorship,
Authorship assignment,
Inappropriate authorship practices
Peer Review Topics No peer review topics
Collaborative Science Topics
Dealing with challenges in collaborative relationships
Research Misconduct Topics No research misconduct topics
Conflicts of Interest, Law and Policy Topics No conflicts of interest_law_and policy topics
Human Subjects No human subjects

URL http://www.actsi.org/areas/erks/ethics/index.html http://www.icmje.org/
RCR Keyword Research Paper, Collaboration, Lab Partners, Students
Other RCR Keywords Acknowledgements; Authorship Integrity; Compound; Contractually; Data Generation; Doctoral Work; Grant; Intellectual Contributions; Interpretation; Lab; Misrepresentation; Non-peer Reviewed Publication; Pharmaceutical Company; Pharmaceutical Companyís Publication; Pharmacokinetics; Protocol; Published; Sole Author
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 - 17:58:30 - MarkYarborough
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