Although authorship issues are not the most common reason we see for retractions, they’re one of the most vexing. We’ve seen multiple cases in which papers are retracted because colleagues say authors didn’t have a right to publish data, for example. In other cases, authors who didn’t know about a paper are surprised when it comes out.
So for our most recent column in LabTimes, we decided to look at these situations and try to answer some questions:
What’s the best way to acknowledge the work of colleagues who might have helped provide intellectual background for a particular study but who did not participate in the collection of the data or the preparation of the manuscript? And what of the lab head, whose ability to bring in money keeps the lights on and the rats fed?