Authorship Guidelines

Author attribution to an article should be correct from the start of the submission process. All authors listed on a submission must have given prior approval to have their name attributed to the submitted file(s) and agree to the publication. Every article should have a single lead author identified who communicates with the journal (the corresponding author) and with any co-authors named on the submission. Authors are listed alphabetically unless there is a reason not to which has been accepted by the journal’s General Editor. The corresponding author must ensure that all authors qualify for, and have agreed to, authorship of the submission. They are also responsible for informing all co-authors of relevant editorial information during the review process.

The following recommendations are adapted from the ICMJE criteria for authorship and are in accordance with COPE guidelines.

Authors must have:

  • made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; or the drafting the work, or revising the draft critically for important intellectual content
  • provided final approval of the version to be published
  • agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work including the accuracy and integrity of any part of the work agreed to be named on the author list, and approved of the full author list as well as the order in which they are listed

Those that meet some but do not meet all of the above criteria should be acknowledged in the publication but not listed as an author. Honorary authorship is not acceptable.

Sources of funding, supervision of research groups, language editing and proof reading should be noticed in the acknowledgements. Written permission should be obtained from those being acknowledged, as being named in such a way may be seen as an endorsement of the publication.

Authorship and AI tools

Aberdeen University Press agrees with COPE’s position on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in research:

“AI tools cannot meet the requirements for authorship as they cannot take responsibility for the submitted work. As non-legal entities, they cannot assert the presence or absence of conflicts of interest nor manage copyright and license agreements.

Authors who use AI tools in the writing of a manuscript, production of images or graphical elements of the paper, or in the collection and analysis of data, must be transparent in disclosing in the Materials and Methods (or similar section) of the paper how the AI tool was used and which tool was used. Authors are fully responsible for the content of their manuscript, even those parts produced by an AI tool, and are thus liable for any breach of publication ethics.”

COPE position statement, 13 February 2023

The author(s) must ensure that they have permission to use all third-party content included within the submission, including those sourced using AI.