Publication Practices & Responsible Authorship

Although researchers can disseminate their findings through many different avenues, results are most likely to be published in an article in a scholarly journal. Accurate and honest reporting of research methodologies and results are the basis of all scientific publications. Researchers should avoid dividing a project into "least publishable units," which misinforms the public on the importance and value of the research, and wastes time and money. Researchers should also avoid publishing duplicate studies, a practice that also unfairly represents the importance of the research.

Authorship credit should reflect the individual's contribution to the study. An author is considered anyone involved with initial research design, data collection and analysis, manuscript drafting, and final approval. However, the following do not necessarily qualify for authorship: providing funding or resources, mentorship, or contributing research but not helping with the publication itself. The primary author assumes responsibility for the publication, making sure that the data are accurate, that all deserving authors have been credited, that all authors have given their approval to the final draft; and handles responses to inquiries after the manuscript is published.