Ethics & law
A dispute over authorship
Marika Davies, a medicolegal adviser, gives advice on some common ethical dilemmas faced by medical students
You must feel aggrieved given the considerable time you spent on this work and the missed opportunity to add a paper to your CV.
Authorship is a contentious issue in the world of research. Three academics at the Penn State College of Medicine, United States, described their experience of a “quagmire of disagreement” over authorship order.1 And in March 2016, the Academy of Medical Sciences published a report that called for more transparent reward systems. The report warned of a threat to “team science” if individual participants in research projects did not get the credit they deserved.2
The General Medical Council’s guidance on good practice in research says “you must conduct research honestly” and “you must make sure that research reports are properly attributed.” Of course, this may not apply to those involved in the research who are not registered medical practitioners. However, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors