Aurhorship and Contributorship

 | Post date: 2023/08/7 | 
Authorship definition
The author, in general, is the person who creates or develops an idea. Afarand describes authors as people who have significantly contributed to the reported work and agreed to take responsibility for their contributorship. An author should be able to specify which of their co-authors is accountable for which particular aspects of the work. An author should also have faith in the reliability of their co-authors' contributions. The final manuscript should be approved by all authors.

Who is an author?
All Afarand journals' authors must meet all 4 following criteria (): 
• Making significant contributions to the work's conception or design, or to the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; 
• Writing the work or critically reviewing it for significant intellectual content; 
• Final approval of the published edition; and 
• Take responsibility for all aspects of the work in order to guarantee that any concerns about the accuracy or integrity of any portion of the work are properly investigated and addressed. 
- Corresponding author: When submitting a paper for peer review and publication, the corresponding author is in charge of communicating with the journal. The corresponding author ensures that all guidelines set forth by the journal are adhered to. They are accessible to answer editorial questions throughout the peer-review and submission processes. Additionally, they are accessible even after the publication to offer extra details and address criticisms. The corresponding author may, however, delegate some of their responsibilities to a co-author. Although Afarand regards the corresponding author as being the primary contact for correspondence, editors also send copies of all correspondence to all other authors. The designation of a responsible corresponding author is equally vital to the journal and to readers who may want to contact the authors in the future. The same advice can be used for writers who collaborate across multiple sites or with other writing teams. A corresponding author must be prepared to uphold the duties imposed by the journal (such as properly responding to editorial questions and acting as the journal's correspondent for future inquiries concerning the objectivity of the work). 
- Ghost author: There are two ways to use the word "ghost authors." It typically refers to freelance writers whose contribution is not acknowledged and who are frequently compensated by business sponsors. It is vital to acknowledge such writers' contributions since their engagement may offer a possible conflict of interest even if they rarely meet ICMJE standards because they are not involved in study design, data collecting, or data interpretation. The phrase can also be used to refer to individuals who, despite not being recognized as authors, significantly contributed to a research effort and met the ICMJE standards. Afarand refers to the ICMJE standards regarding ghost authors, "All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed," which expressly denounces this practice.    
- Non-author contributor: Contributors who satisfy 1, 2, or 3 of the aforementioned authorship requirements (ICMJE criteria) ought to be acknowledged. For instance, providing general administrative oversight of a research team or writing assistance, technical editing, linguistic editing, and proofreading do not qualify people as the author. These contributors may be thanked individually or in a group at the end of the article.
- Acknowledged contributor: The authors who do not meet all four mentioned criteria should be acknowledged at the end of the article without any credit and obviously no responsibility (as they may be considered responsible to the content, it is suggested to the journal editors to ask the written consent of the acknowledged persons from the authors).
- Gift (Guest) author: who are mentioned but who did not significantly contribute to the research and as a result do not meet the four requirements of authors mentioned earlier are called gift authors. They are usually important people (such as department heads) whose names have been added to win favor or because it is customary. The addition of a coworker's name to someone's publication list with the idea that they will do the same for them regardless of their contribution to their research is another form of gift author. Afarand refuses to name such authors in its journals as much as possible.

Authorship and AI tools 
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT or Large Language Models in research publications is expanding rapidly.
- Afarand state that AI tools cannot be listed as an author of a paper.


 AI tools cannot meet the requirements for authorship as they cannot take responsibility for the submitted work. 
- As non-legal entities, they cannot assert the presence or absence of conflicts of interest nor manage copyright and license agreements.


 
- Authors who use AI tools in the writing of a manuscript, production of images or graphical elements of the paper, or in the collection and analysis of data, must be transparent in disclosing in the Materials and Methods (or similar section) of the paper how the AI tool was used and which tool was used.


 
- At submission, the journals of Afarand require authors to disclose whether they used artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technologies (such as Large Language Models [LLMs], chatbots, or image creators) in the production of submitted work. Authors who use such technology should describe, in both the cover letter and the submitted work, how they used it. 
- Chatbots (such as ChatGPT) should not be listed as authors because they cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work, and these responsibilities are required for authorship. Therefore, humans are responsible for any submitted material that included the use of AI-assisted technologies. 
- Authors should carefully review and edit the result because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete, or biased. 

Number of authors
Sole authorship is more prevalent in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, whereas multiple authorship is most prevalent in disciplines where large, multinational groups collaborate on long-term experimental projects. 
- In Afarand journals, large multi-author groups decide who will be an author before the work begins and confirm that person before submitting the article for publication. 
- All group members who are listed as authors meet all four requirements for authorship mentioned earlier (ICMJE criteria). Additionally, they will be required to submit disclosure forms on their own.
- In some significant multi-author groups, authorship is indicated by the group name, either with or without the names of the authors. If a group name already exists, it should be specified in the related author's submission along with a list of all the group members who are eligible to be credited as authors.
- Each journal submission rules explicitly mention any limitations on the number of authors, co-first authorships, corresponding authors, or general recommendations for how to show group authorships or acknowledge contributions. 
- Journal regulations regarding collective or consortium authorships provide clarification on any demands that one author serves as the paper's sole guarantee. 
- The corresponding author should specify the group name when submitting a manuscript written by a group, and he/she clearly identifies the group members who can take credit and responsibility for the work as authors. 
- The byline of the article identifies who is directly responsible for the manuscript. 
- Copyright ownership and signature procedures are essential to be clarified when there is a group of authors. 
- An end-note or acknowledgment section should provide a list of author and non-author contributions if all members of a designated consortium are not authors of the article. 
- The guidelines presented in Afarand journals clearly state any specific requirements for supplemental material, such as trial registration, institutional review board or ethics committee approvals, patient consent for medical case reports, data accessibility, and copyright permission for using instruments or other materials.
 
Order of authors
The criteria used to choose the order in which writers are listed on the byline are up to the author group, not the editors, and may vary. The topic of who should be named in what order when citing authors is a prevalent issue, and it varies by discipline. The senior investigator is the last author in a biomedical study but the first author is assumed to have done the majority of the work. There are typically very few writers in the social sciences, and they are sometimes listed alphabetically. It is assumed that all authors contributed equally if they are arranged alphabetically. 
- The order of authorship in Afarand journals is expected to represent the level of contribution made by each author. 
- To avoid confusion, every author's contribution to the study is presented in the form of a percentage showing what proportion of the study is carried out by each of the authors. 
- Authors are required to sign an agreement regarding the sequence of authorship prior to reviewing. This order never changes after final decision; and for modifications before acceptance, a new signed form by all authors is needed.

Authorship disputes
As soon as submitting an article raising disputes is expected. Such disputes can be categorized into two groups; pre-publication and post-publication. When author investigations are required, Afarand journal editors and the institution keep lines of communication open to the maximum extent permitted by law. Editors begin an investigation, but all sides send out clear messages for the modifications to resolve the problem. 
- Journal editors prioritize maintaining the credibility of the scholarly record rather than taking actions only to penalize authors for misbehavior; such actions are the responsibility of the organizations that employ the authors. 
- Regarding misconduct of any kind, the journal editor considers how that behavior impacts the scholarly record. Plagiarism, data that has been stolen, faked, or manipulated, disagreements involving several authors, groups, institutions, and countries, and unreported conflicts of interest are the most frequent types of authorship misconduct that necessitate examination by institutions. 
- The authorship of a manuscript is called into question by plagiarism because the person who created the new work was not the one who came up with the original concept or text. 
- There is an agreement in Afarand journals that plagiarism is an unacceptable activity and that remedial action must be taken when it is found in a submission or an article that has been published. Although verbatim plagiarism is frequently found using more powerful software, the editor's skill is needed to determine the level of plagiarism and any mitigating circumstances. Contributions that contain plagiarism are rejected with the editor providing a clear explanation of why. 
- The editor of Afarand is free to decide whether or not to inform the institution. Processes like informing all authors of the reasons for rejection are permissible and may help co-authors learn or change their opinions. 
- Due to the difficulty in identifying data or intellectual property ownership, editors are more inclined to involve institutions in cases of stolen, made-up, or falsified data. 
- Institutions have an interest in securing the data as part of any grant award because major funding is sometimes given to an institution rather than the individual scientist. Institutional inquiries may not result in a complete solution to the issue when many institutions or author groups are involved. Outside of their own jurisdiction, one institution might not be able to conduct an adequate investigation, thus editors will rely on their own discretion in such situations.


 


 
- Submissions may be suspended during the review or publication process during authorship disputes until the issue has been resolved. Editors have some negotiating power with writers who want to see their articles published during the submission process; they make it clear which statements or forms are necessary to meet the submission requirements and set a strict deadline for a response. The authors then have the option of withdrawing the submission or completing the journal criteria. 
- When an authorship dispute arises after a manuscript has already been published, the editor has a duty to update the scientific record via an erratum, corrigendum, or, in dire circumstances, an editorial expression of concern or retraction. 
- Beyond referencing and formatting specifications, editors have explicit instructions for writers. 
- Author responsibilities during the review and publication processes, the definition of authorship, ethical expectations for the planning, conduct, and reporting of the research, and the necessity for attestations of work performed by authors, originality of the work, declarations of competing interests, and funding/support are all included in the guidelines of the Afarand journals.

Afarand journals are supposed to follow COPE instructions in dispute cases.

Pre-publication authorship disputes
The following COPE flowcharts are used by Afarand editors to decide on how to handle submissions when disagreements over any of these standards arise during the submission or review process.
The editor postpones the review and publication procedures when there are unresolved disputes with authorship or competing interests in a submitted manuscript until all problems have been satisfactorily resolved. In such debates, setting strict deadlines may encourage authors to respond fast.

Disputes over authorship after publication
The editors of Afarand journals conduct a systematic investigation when problems about authorship arise after an article has been published. Changes requested on authorship would not be accepted after publication, but Afarand journals refer to COPE instructions in case of violations. 

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