You are a company medical publication professional. The publication steering committee of a company-sponsored pivotal phase 3 clinical trial has selected investigators to serve as authors, but the committee and authors are having difficulty in deciding the order of authorship. During discussions, multiple authors believe that they have equal rights to the first author position based on their contributions.

What Would You Do?

  • Assign first author position to the author who is most experienced and renowned in the field
  • Suggest that the company sponsor should decide the authorship order
  • Systematically list out the contributions of each author, with an objective weight assigned to each contribution, and use the weighted score to determine authorship order
  • Propose to authors that the journal attributes lead authorship to the multiple authors by stating that they all “contributed equally” to the article, with names listed alphabetically on the byline

This poll is closed. Results will be posted in mid-March 2020.

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