8. Storage, use and publication of data and personal data
Case 8.1: Co-authorship
A PhD candidate had to take sick leave while he was working on an article. After 3 weeks the job was taken over by somebody else, who demanded to be the first author of the publication.
Questions: Is this requirement acceptable? If it is not acceptable, what are the reasons for this?
Case 8.2: Contribution to publication
The people who work at a workshop take part in producing knowledge and experience by performing duties that the researchers instruct them to perform. The contribution is not usually mentioned in the acknowledgments. Similarly, a student was assigned to do what he was instructed to do — a job that could be compared with the workshop's contribution. The student however demanded to be a co-author of the publication from the project. The researchers felt this was unreasonable, since the job had consisted of plotting in data.
Questions: Was the contribution substantial enough to require co-authorship (cf. the Vancouver Group guidelines)? Which reasons would support including the student as a co-author? (lack of clarity in the contract, unclear standards for co-authorship)
Comments from the pilot testers:
Comment 1: According to the Vancouver convention, collecting data alone is not sufficient. It states that "Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship." See http://www.icmje.org/#author.
Also see the article "Hva er en medforfatter" ["What is a co-author"] in Tidsskrift for den norske lægeforening [the journal of the Norwegian Medical Association].