Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.— The proposal by Dr Rennie
and colleagues1 for increasing accountability
for publication of scientific articles will improve the lot of junior faculty
who are so dependent on these publications to achieve merit in their departments.
Keeping noncontributors off the byline will make evident to those who provide
pay raises and end-of-the-year bonuses exactly who is doing the academic work
in a department. This approach will provide a greater incentive for department
chairs to provide the financial rewards that are clearly deserved for academic
productivity, rewards that often are overlooked in the current scheme of hierarchy
of authorship, and also will eliminate much of the "tit-for-tat" authorship
afforded those who merely supply 1 case, 1 consultation, or 1 side-bar comment.
In my experience, it is usually the case that only 1 or 2 people are behind
an article, bringing an idea to draft and then to print. It is time they received
Kaufman JL. Authors vs Contributors: Accuracy, Accountability, and Responsibility. JAMA. 1998;279(5):356-357. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-5-jbk0204