Authorship is a pinnacle activity in academic medicine that often involves collaboration and a mentor–mentee relationship. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors criteria for authorship (ICMJEc) are intended to prevent abuses of authorship and are used by more than 5500 medical journals. However, the binary ICMJEc have not yet been quantified.
To develop a numeric scoring rubric for the ICMJEc to corroborate the authenticity of authorship claims.
An interesting analysis and paper that explores the authorship factors beyond purely the criteria in international codes. Some of the results are quite surprising. Does your institution’s authorship material give guidance on “taking responsibility for an output”? This work suggests it should. We have included links to 21 related items.
The four ICMJEc were separated into the nine authorship components of conception, design, data acquisition, data analysis, interpretation of data, draft, revision, final approval and accountability. In spring 2021, members of an international association of medical editors rated the importance of each authorship component using an 11-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (no importance) to 10 (most important). The median component scores were used to calibrate the pairwise comparisons in an analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The AHP priority weights were multiplied against a four-level perceived effort/capability grade to calculate an authorship score.
Sixty-six decision-making medical editors completed the survey. The components had the median scores/AHP weights: conception 7.5/5.3%; design 8/8.9%; data acquisition 7/3.6%; data analysis 7/3.6%; interpretation of data 8/8.9%; draft 8/8.9%; revision 8/8.9%; final approval 9/20.1%; and accountability 10/31.8%, with Kruskal–Wallis Chi2 = 65.11, p < 0.001.
The editors rated accountability as the most important component of authorship, followed by the final approval of the manuscript; data acquisition had the lowest median importance score for authorship. The scoring rubric (https://tinyurl.com/eyu86y96) transforms the binary tetrad ICMJEc into 9 quantifiable components of authorship, providing a transparent method to objectively assess authorship contributions, determine authorship order and potentially decrease the abuse of authorship. If desired, individual journals can survey their editorial boards and use the AHP method to derive customized weightings for an ICMJEc-based authorship index.
authorship, ICMJE, academic medicine, ethics, medical editors, analytic hierarchy process, survey
Ing EB. (2021) A Survey-Weighted Analytic Hierarchy Process to Quantify Authorship. Advances in Medical Education and Practice. 2021;12:1021-1031. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S328648
Publisher (Open Access): https://www.dovepress.com/a-survey-weighted-analytic-hierarchy-process-to-quantify-authorship-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-AMEP