Authorship: conditions to be included as an author

The conditions 

Researchers who contribute significantly to the creation of the publication are added to the authors list.

This involves 4 (cumulative!) conditions:  

  • a significant contribution to the design of the research, relevant data collection, its analysis, and/ or interpretation;
  • drafting and/or critical reviewing the publication;
  • approval of the final publication; and
  • agreeing to be responsible for the content of the publication, unless specified otherwise in the publication.


The above provision is a minimum requirement that must be met. For more information and conditions, read the full ‘Policy on Authorship and recognition of contributions to scholarly publishing’.


The standards around recognizing authorship and/or contributions may continue to evolve and interpretation of the key terms may depend on the definition of the stakeholders (e.g. journal, funder, discipline, etc.) and the research context. Therefore, researchers involved should always consider which provisions apply in their case (e.g. when they wish to publish in a specific journal), with this policy as a minimum.


The decision to recognize an author (or not) is an informed one. Researchers can be supported by resources such as, e.g., an Authorship Determination Scorecard’.


Authors formally agree on the sequence of authorship. Any form of listing is possible, provided it is in accordance with the provisions of this policy and clearly communicated. Researchers can look for supportive tools within their discipline, such as an 'Authorship Tie-breaker Scorecard'.


The shift towards authorship roles 

Recently we see a shift from the static concept of ‘authorship’ to a transparent recognition of the various roles/contributions that go with the creation of the scholarly contribution, the so-called 'contributorship'.

Ghent University strongly recommends ‘contributorship disclosure'.

Contributorship disclosure explicitly and in detail describes what each author did in the realization of the results and creation of the scholarly contribution, from finding the initial idea to submitting it for publication. This specification can take different forms.


More information on author roles, see Research Tip(s): Authorship: authorship roles (contribution disclosure – author(ship) contribution statements)


Additional terms

All agreements regarding the recognition as author and, if applicable, the place on the author's list, are recorded (in writing) in a so-called authorship agreement and approved by all authors.

The form of this agreement is freely chosen e.g. publication contract’, ‘authorship agreement’, etc.

Ghent University advises its researchers to at least strive for a confirmed e-mail of the agreements.


Read the full ‘Policy on Authorship and recognition of contributions to scholarly publishing’.

Researchers can address their questions to the faculty contact point for research integrity, the policy advisor for research integrity or the secretariat of the Commission for Research Integrity.

A complete overview of Research Integrity at Ghent University on the webpage


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Last modified Nov. 27, 2023, 1:51 p.m.