It’s Not WHO You Are, It’s WHAT You Do!
New Recommendations Provide Clarifying Guidance for Interpreting and Applying ICMJE Criterion 1 for Authorship
Author selection based on International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criterion 1 can be challenging, particularly for multicenter trials with a large number of investigators and contributors. The ISMPP Authorship Task Force was formally launched in 2019 to define author selection best practices for industry-sponsored medical publications. The recommendations were published in Current Medical Research and Opinion (CMRO) on April 19, 2022.1 Access the publication.
The Task Force – comprised of expert medical publication professionals from multiple pharmaceutical companies and members of ISMPP – has worked to interpret ICMJE criterion 1 for authorship: “Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work.” Consistent interpretation of ICMJE criterion 1 has been challenging, with considerable ambiguity in its meaning of “substantial contribution.”
A new publication in CMRO, titled “Building Consensus on Author Selection Practices for Industry-sponsored Research: Recommendations from an Expert Task Force of Medical Publication Professionals,” reports the ISMPP Authorship Task Force’s findings and recommendations for an objective and consistent interpretation of ICMJE criterion 1.1
“The ISMPP Authorship Task Force recommendations serve as much-anticipated guidance for interpreting and applying ICMJE criterion 1 for author selection of industry-sponsored medical publications. We eagerly encourage medical publication professionals – and all involved with publishing scientific research – to discuss the recommendations within their organization and incorporate them into best practices for author selection,” stated Robert Matheis, ISMPP President & CEO.
“We eagerly encourage medical publication professionals – and all involved with publishing scientific research – to discuss the [ISMPP Authorship Task Force] recommendations within their organization and incorporate them into best practices for author selection.”
Robert Matheis, ISMPP President & CEO
To develop the recommendations and formulate definitions of “substantial contribution,” the ISMPP Authorship Task Force:
- Surveyed the Task Force members on authorship practices
- Reviewed the literature defining “substantial contributions” to ICMJE criterion 1. Refined the interpretation of ICMJE criterion 1 by discussion and consensus.
“The definitions of ‘substantial contributions’ described by the Authorship Task Force are central to facilitate early, proactive, and transparent discussion and documentation of contributions required for authorship,” stated Meera Kodukulla, author and Working Group lead. The Task Force also provided recommendations for contributions that do not merit authorship but may be included in an acknowledgement.
“The definitions of ‘substantial contributions’ described by the Authorship Task Force are central to facilitate early, proactive, and transparent discussion and documentation of contributions required for authorship.”
Meera Kodukulla, Author and Working Group Lead
The ISMPP Authorship Algorithm Tool is planned for release in May 2022. Attendees of the 18th Annual Meeting of ISMPP can learn more at the “Authorship Challenges & Solutions: ISMPP Authorship Algorithm Update” plenary session on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Publication Authors on behalf of the ISMPP Authorship Task Force*
Michelle L. Carfagno, GlaxoSmithKline
Sonia A. Schweers, Bristol Myers Squibb
Elizabeth A. Whann, Pfizer Inc.
Margaret B. Hodgson, Merck & Co., Inc.
Karen D. Mittleman, Consultant
Susan A. Nastasee, Bristol Myers Squibb
Tine Sorgenfrei, Novo Nordisk
Meera I. Kodukulla, AstraZeneca
* All Task Force Members at the time of the work are listed in the publication.
1 Michelle L. Carfagno, Sonia A. Schweers, Elizabeth A. Whann, Margaret B. Hodgson, Karen D. Mittleman, Susan A. Nastasee, Tine Sorgenfrei, Meera I. Kodukulla & for The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals Authorship Task Force (2022) Building consensus on author selection practices for industry-sponsored research: recommendations from an expert task force of medical publication professionals, Current Medical Research and Opinion, DOI: 10.1080/03007995.2022.2050111