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Perceptions of authorship criteria: effects of student instruction and scientific experience


Objective: To analyse medical students’, graduate students’ and doctors’ and medical teachers’ perceptions of research contributions as criteria for authorship in relation to the authorship criteria defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Design: Medical students with (n = 152) or without (n = 85) prior instruction on ICMJE criteria, graduate students/doctors (n = 125) and medical teachers (n = 112) rated the importance of 11 contributions as authorship qualifications. They also reported single contributions eligible for authorship, as well as acceptable combinations of two or three qualifying contributions.

Results: Conception and design, Analysis and interpretation and Drafting of article formed the most important cluster in all four groups. Students without prior instruction rated Critical revision and Final approval lower than the other three groups. “Final approval” was a part of the least important cluster in all groups except among students with instruction.

Conclusions: Conception and design, Analysis and interpretation and Drafting of article were recognised as the most important of the ICMJE criteria by all participants. They can be considered independent of previous instruction or experience. Final approval and Critical revision should be actively taught as important authorship criteria to future scientists.

  • CME, continuing medical education
  • ICMJE, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
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