Ethical Authorship in Nursing Publications

Saturday, 16 November 2013: 3:55 PM

Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN
American Journal of Nursing, Wolters Kluwer Health Medical Research, New York, NY

Learning Objective 1: Identify identify common unethical practices in authorship

Learning Objective 2: Describe the prevalence in nursing publications as uncovered in an international survey of authors and editors of scholarly nursing journals

Inappropriate authorship is usually defined as honorary (authors who have not contributed substantially to the work and have not met the journal authorship criteria) and ghost authorship (individuals not named as authors but who have made significant contributions to the work. While recent studies reported that inappropriate authorship was a common problem among medical journals, little is known about inappropriate authorship in nursing journals. Editors of nursing journals informally report an increasing experience of identifying honorary and ghost authors in reviewing manuscripts for publication. Authors identify that their faculty or supervisors with whom they work expect to be named as co-authors despite having had scant input into the work or development of the manuscript. Conversely, some authors have received assistance, including writing of the entire manuscript, from professional writers who have been paid by a company or vendor with direct or indirect financial interests in products or services discussed in the paper.

This presentation will report the results of an international survey of nursing journal authors and editors to assess the prevalence of inappropriate authorship in nursing journals in 2010 - 2012. Authors conducted an online survey of 1) authors of ten peer reviewed nursing journals, which publish one or more of the 3 types of articles to be evaluated (research, quality improvement, review/clinical articles), are a blend of specialty and non-specialty journals, and follow guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors or Committee on Publication Ethics; 2/ editors who are members of the International Academy of Nursing Editors.