The Authorless Paper: the ICMJE’s definition of authorship is illogical and unethical

British Medical Journal 343 (7831):999 (2011)
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Abstract

In recent years there have been many revelations about ghost authors, who contribute to publications but are not credited, and guest authors, who do not contribute but are credited. Most medical and many other journals adhere to the authorship standards set by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which were designed in part to combat the phenomena of ghost and guest authorship. However, the current criteria set for authorship by the ICMJE have their own problems. This brief paper illustrates these problems with an example, and concludes that the current ICMJE definition of authorship is both illogical and unethical.

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David M. Shaw
University of Basel

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