Awareness of Authorship Criteria and Conflict: Survey in a Medical Institution in India

Upreet Dhaliwal, MS; Navjeevan Singh, MD; Arati Bhatia, MD


December 12, 2006

In This Article


Context: Assignment of appropriate authorship on a scientific paper is important for researchers and the public; inappropriate authorship may generate conflict.
Objectives: To determine the extent of: (a) awareness of criteria for authorship and acknowledgment among researchers in a medical institution, (b) conflict concerning authorship issues in the research environment, and (c) their interrelationship.
Design and Setting: A questionnaire self-administered by the faculty in a teaching hospital in India in March 2006.
Main Outcome Measures: Rate and level of awareness of International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, or other rate and level of awareness of international published authorship criteria; rate and type of authorship conflict.
Results: Ninety-five teaching faculty were contacted; 77 responded. Fifty respondents (65%) reported that they were aware that authorship criteria existed, but only 34 (44%) correctly identified a source. Overall, 30 (39%) respondents reported conflict over authorship issues relating mainly to ownership of data, gift authorship, and issues like academic competition, personality differences, intellectual passion, or order of authorship. There was no difference between number of authorship criteria correctly identified by respondents who reported conflict compared with those who did not (P = .78).
Conclusions: There was poor awareness of criteria for authorship and acknowledgement among the faculty in research publications. Conflict over authorship issues existed in the research environment, but was not influenced by the level of awareness.


Readers are encouraged to respond to George Lundberg, MD, Editor of MedGenMed, for the editor's eye only or for possible publication via email:


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.