Dr Susan Banana at Spellbound University
There are two case studies below with questions. Please see attached paragraphs below.
Issues Related to Authorship
Authorship is a highly contested subject, and different organizations set different criteria to be considered in the qualification of a research contributor as an author. However, most organizations unanimously agree that an author must have a substantial contribution in the publication of intellectual work mostly in the planning, drafting and approval of the final version before publication (The University of Sydney, 2019; International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, n.d.). The case study triggers the assessment of the level of involvement for one to be credited as an author. Ms Violet Plum gets involved in the data collection while Dr Susan Banana and Dr Peachy Melba are set to draft the paper for publication. Ms Plum’s failure to consent with her supervisor suggests that collaborative authorship should be discussed before embarking on the actual research. It also raises the question about the entitlement of supervisor’s to their students’ data.
1. There are two case studies below please outline the issues related to authorship. How should the protagonists in each case be credited? Are the authors or not? Give reasons for your answers. (200 words)
If the paper utilizing Ms Plum’s data gets published in line with her supervisor’s guidelines, then Ms Plum will not be eligible for authorship. Her contribution being only in data collection, she will only be entitled to acknowledgement. According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, authorship is only guaranteed under four criteria: significant contribution in the design, acquisition and interpretation of data, drafting the content, final approval of the publication and acceptance to the accountability of the work. Failure to meet the four criteria allows for authorial exemption and allows for only acknowledgement. Dr Banana and Dr Melba will qualify as authors since they will pick up the raw data collected, analyze, interpret and draft it into intellectual content and finally proceed to publish it. Analytically, Dr Banana may use the criteria set for authorship to contest the possibility of her student being an author as she does not meet the criteria. All the individuals all meet the first criteria should be allowed to participate in the other stages. Individuals offering assistance should not be considered for authorship (The University of Sydney, 2019). Supervisors are, therefore, not entitled to the data collected by their students. The sense of entitlement is highly manipulative and only seeks to exploit the involved students.2. Using your chosen case develop a way in which these problems may have been avoided. (200 words)
Consult the following to undertake the Case Studies:
University of Sydney guidelines on authorship
The Australian Universities Responsible Conduct of Research, revised and republished in 2018
The Vancouver Protocol
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors.
1- Dr Susan Banana at Spellbound University has a very promising PhD students, Ms Violet Plum. Violet Plum collects a very interesting data set about disadvantaged children in the area. Dr Banana wants to present the data at a conference, writing a paper with her friend and colleague Dr Peachy Melba. She suggests that Violet could be the third author. Violet wants to wait until her PhD is submitted, but Dr Banana believes as the supervisor she is entitled to use the data.
2- Cassie is an experienced researcher who drafted the grant bid providing funding for a 3-year ARC project. She carried out all the fieldwork, engaging in planning and some of the analysis collaboratively with the two Investigators before going on maternity leave for 6 months. When she returned she found they had written a paper for publication describing an aspect of the findings but she was not named as an author. When challenged, her colleagues replied that their view was that authorship should primarily reflect contributions to the writing up, and there would be other authorship opportunities for her.
(Based upon case found at www.le.ac.uk/researchleader/resources/PIIssues.doc)