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January 11, 1995

Hierarchical Authorship-Reply

Author Affiliations

Associate Senior Editor, JAMA

Deputy Editor (West), JAMA

JAMA. 1995;273(2):116. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520260035027

In Reply.  —We thank Dr Cates for his letter describing the problems with hierarchical authorship, and we appreciate the opportunity to address this subject again.1,2Cates poses several questions regarding his scenario. To answer his first question, no one who has offered "no input" into a manuscript should be considered an author and given a guest position in the byline, regardless of position in the hierarchy. When a senior-level manager provides "little input," then perhaps that person could be considered an author if she or he has participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for it and made substantial contributions in each of the following three areas: (1) conception and design or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) final approval of the version to be published.3Cates also asks how the colleague who

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