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Included in the ICH mission statement is publication of research findings and of processes involved in improving community health. Publication is an important by-product of the work that is done although it may not be the primary goal of the work. Early on in each project, it is necessary for ICH members to communicate these goals to community partners. Discussions should address whether community partners would be agreeable to publishing data that arises from its work with ICH, especially in the event that such data were unfavorable. Involvement of partners in the research and writing process should also be discussed explicitly. In addition, it should be determined who, regardless of authorship, will review a paper before it is submitted for publication. The results of these discussions, including the details and scope of the review process, should then be incorporated into a project-specific memorandum of understanding.
Only those actively participating in the work of the project will be eligible for authorship. Active participation:
- Is defined as substantial intellectual contribution to the publication in question.
- May be measured directly by physical hours of input on acquisition, processing and interpreting of data.
- May be measured indirectly by time and energy spent supervising a junior researcher in the acquisition, processing and interpretation of data.
- May be a combination of direct and indirect input.
All authors must state that they have made substantial contributions to each of the following 3 activities (adapted from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors). Contributions can be in oral or written form:
- Conception and design, or analysis and interpretation, or both.
- Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
- Approval of the final version to be published
Criteria for first authorship include:
- Writing the entire manuscript or conceptualizing the paper/outline and assigning co-authors responsibility for writing specified sections of the manuscript.
- Overseeing data analysis or doing the data analysis firsthand.
- Handling all communication with journals.
The first author is ultimately accountable for the information presented.
Order of Authors:
The lead author will be listed first, followed in order by descending level of contribution to the manuscript. The “senior author,” usually the Principal Investigator of the grant that primarily funded the project, may choose to be last author.
Community partners who may have less experience writing for publication will qualify as authors if, either individually with the lead author or with the writing team:
- They are involved with concept discussions about the paper or interpretation of findings.
- They review and make comments on at least one draft.
- They review the final version and give approval prior to publishing.
Regardless of whether community partners qualify as co-authors, they will review drafts of the manuscript and will have input about the presentation and interpretation of data. These authorship policies are consistent with those of Harvard Medical School.
Conflict of Interest:
All manuscript authors will be required to sign a disclosure form (Appendix, adapted from the New England Journal of Medicine) acknowledging any conflicts of interest, or appearances thereof.
It is the intent of ICH to recognize contributions of individuals, community-based organizations or others that have made contributions to the work not qualifying for authorship. Acknowledgements:
- Will be more inclusive of contributions to the project versus the paper specifically.
- Can acknowledge individuals, community-based organizations, funding sources, coalitions or others.
- May consist of recognition of a study population (i.e. students and staff in a school department).
Persons or groups acknowledged in a manuscript will be requested to provide written permission to have their name listed in an acknowledgement statement.
All discussions about authorship/acknowledgements should occur early in the research process.
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