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October 20, 2004

Author! Author!—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(15):1815-1816. doi:10.1001/jama.292.15.1816-b

In Reply: We agree with Dr Gomez-Alonso that the disclosure of authors’ contributions has not solved the problem of honorary authorship. Journal editors cannot be a policing force in this issue. When they receive a manuscript where some authors do not fulfill the ICMJE authorship criteria according to their stated contributions, editors do not have the mandate to delete these persons from the byline. They could ask the authors to amend the byline but, in our experience, this often results in the correction of the contribution statement and apology for a mistake rather than the correction of the byline.1 We agree that honorary authorship could be solved by introducing partial authorship into the criteria of academic advancement,2 but this is something that would have to come from academia.

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