Framework for consideration of contributions/authorship to ISGC projects and manuscripts
A breakdown of the pipeline from concept to publication against which contributions can be identified in case of ISGC is listed below.
- Conception of idea/project and mustering support to get the concept into play
- Funding/grant applications which often outline ideas, concepts, strategy, context and application of prospective results. This includes funding to have samples analysed which contribute to data pool.
- Planning: high-level planning of key activities in order to generate data/information. Contributions include phone/on-line contributions to the planning process and providing feedback on revision of executable plans.
- Execution: specific work modules, on-line contributions for organization and/or sample contribution, direct supervision of technical activities and substantive resourcing of the project
- Analysis: biological, statistical, qualitative and any other form of sample and data analysis
- Interpretation of data, including providing context of existing information, and including on-line contributions in discussion of data
- Writing: assembling of information, drafting manuscripts, substantive planning in layout and editing.
Consideration for inclusion as authors
All members of ISGC are potential contributors. All active members who can demonstrate a contribution to any of the activities above could be considered for authorship. This includes members who contribute to regular planning meetings, interpretation of results, provision of samples and have had primary responsibility for acquisition of funds to support the ISGC research (ie named grant holders). Contributors to various projects maybe considered as lead authors and member/co-authors as defined below. The project should identify the one or two lead authors who will take primary responsibility for the project and subsequent reporting through to manuscript.
Ranking contributions and listing of authors
The lead author is expected to write the first draft and to prepare all revisions, but all potential consortia contributors/authors are invited contribute to the project and writing phase. It should not be seen as a single individuals efforts.
Those who make substantive contributions against the first 6 listed activities (ie 3 or more) and the writing phase (7) should be considered as main contributors, where as those making a substantial contribution in only 1 areas, including writing and revision as minor authors. In practice, authors are put on papers for a number of pragmatic reasons, and often co-authorship is part of the glue that helps get co-funding for collaborative studies. Under these guidelines HapMap participants would qualify for co-authorship if they made unique samples available and provided funding for their animals to be genotyped. All ISGC members who can only contribute in a small way or provided general minor support as part of the ISGC be listed in the acknowledgements. Those who are responsible for routine contract services should not automatically qualify for authorship unless their contribution can specifically be identified under criteria defined above.
In case of large groups contributions, it is proposed that the main contributors are listed in order of contribution (in case where first two named authors have made an equal contribution this should be stated), all remaining authors listed in alphabetical order, and contributors not qualifying for authorship named in the acknowledgement section.
It is essential that ISGC makes sure that that all early drafts of the manuscript are sent to everyone so they all have the opportunity to be considered as potential authors. It may become a bit unwieldy if 50 co-authors all want to see drafts of the manuscript and participate in the manuscript writing process, but it is part of being part of a large multi-party consortium.