July 5, 2000

The Contributions of Authors

JAMA. 2000;284(1):89-91. doi:10.1001/jama.284.1.89

Readers and authors will note a change in our Instructions for Authors1 as published in this issue of THE JOURNAL. For several years, JAMA has encouraged, but not required, authors to indicate the specific contributions they made to the work reported in their articles.2,3 Few authors have accepted this invitation to provide the details of their involvement in the papers to which their names are attached. In contrast, authors commonly provide the names and detailed contributions of those identified in the Acknowledgment section of the manuscript. Thus, JAMA readers are often given details about who is responsible for important tasks, such as manuscript preparation, clerical assistance, and technical assistance, but readers are left to guess about the specific substantive roles of the authors who stand to gain the most from their presence in the byline.