Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 10 » Issue 1

Ongoing ethical issues concerning authorship in biomedical journals: an integrative review

Authors Kornhaber R, McLean L, Baber R

Received 29 April 2015

Accepted for publication 26 May 2015

Published 30 July 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 4837—4846


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Zhaogang Yang

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Rachel Anne Kornhaber,1,2 Loyola M McLean,3–5 Rodney J Baber6,7

1Faculty of Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Alexandria, New South Wales, 2School of Nursing, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, 3Brain and Mind Centre and Westmead Psychotherapy Program, Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, 4Sydney West and Greater Southern Psychiatry Training Network, Cumberland Hospital, Western Sydney Local Health District, 5Parramatta Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, 6Discipline of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, Sydney Medical School, 7Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Abstract: Health professionals publishing within the field of health sciences continue to experience issues concerning appropriate authorship, which have clinical, ethical, and academic implications. This integrative review sought to explore the key issues concerning authorship from a bioethical standpoint, aiming to explore the key features of the authorship debate. Studies were identified through an electronic search, using the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Scopus databases of peer-reviewed research, published between 2009 and 2014, limited to English language research, with search terms developed to reflect the current issues of authorship. From among the 279 papers identified, 20 research papers met the inclusion criteria. Findings were compiled and then arranged to identify themes and relationships. The review incorporated a wide range of authorship issues encompassing equal-credited authors, honorary (guest/gift) and ghost authorship, perception/experiences of authorship, and guidelines/policies. This review suggests that the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ (ICMJE) recommended guidelines for authorship are not reflected in current authorship practices within the domain of health sciences in both low- and high-impact-factor journals. This devaluing of the true importance of authorship has the potential to affect the validity of authorship, diminish the real contributions of the true authors, and negatively affect patient care.

Keywords: authorship, bioethics, equal credit, ghost, honorary, ICMJE

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Other articles by this author:

Cauliflower ear – a minimally invasive treatment method in a wrestling athlete: a case report

Haik J, Givol O, Kornhaber R, Cleary M, Ofir H, Harats M

International Medical Case Reports Journal 2018, 11:5-7

Published Date: 18 January 2018

Burnout and compassion fatigue: prevalence and associations among Israeli burn clinicians

Haik J, Brown S, Liran A, Visentin D, Sokolov A, Zilinsky I, Kornhaber R

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2017, 13:1533-1540

Published Date: 15 June 2017

Treatment of hypergranulation tissue in burn wounds with topical steroid dressings: a case series

Jaeger M, Harats M, Kornhaber R, Aviv U, Zerach A, Haik J

International Medical Case Reports Journal 2016, 9:241-245

Published Date: 11 August 2016

Cutaneous basal cell carcinoma arising within a keloid scar: a case report

Goder M, Kornhaber R, Bordoni D, Winkler E, Haik J, Tessone A

OncoTargets and Therapy 2016, 9:4793-4796

Published Date: 2 August 2016

The role of resilience in the recovery of the burn-injured patient: an integrative review

Kornhaber R, Bridgman H, McLean L, Vandervord J

Chronic Wound Care Management and Research 2016, 3:41-50

Published Date: 27 May 2016

The patient–body relationship and the "lived experience" of a facial burn injury: a phenomenological inquiry of early psychosocial adjustment

McLean LM, Rogers V, Kornhaber R, Proctor MT, Kwiet J, Streimer J, Vandervord J

Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2015, 8:377-387

Published Date: 21 August 2015

Readers of this article also read:

Attenuation of the macrophage inflammatory activity by TiO2 nanotubes via inhibition of MAPK and NF-κB pathways

Neacsu P, Mazare A, Schmuki P, Cimpean A

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015, 10:6455-6467

Published Date: 12 October 2015

pH-Sensitive carboxymethyl chitosan-modified cationic liposomes for sorafenib and siRNA co-delivery

Yao Y, Su ZH, Liang YC, Zhang N

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015, 10:6185-6198

Published Date: 1 October 2015

Influence of cationic lipid concentration on properties of lipid–polymer hybrid nanospheres for gene delivery

Bose RJC, Arai Y, Ahn JC, Park H, Lee SH

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015, 10:5367-5382

Published Date: 2 September 2015

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010