[Taxacom] Ethics? Whose name should be written on a publication as an Author?

Levent Can lev.can at gmail.com
Tue Feb 23 02:54:31 CST 2010

Dear all,

As far as I know one should have a minimum contribution of %10 to be written
as an author in a paper. I have read the illustrative book of Robert A. Day
"How To Write & Publish a Scientific Paper" and came to the conclusion that
the subject is a purely intellectual concept. Even in an intellectual
community. I wanted to learn what the taxacom members think about this
subject, who should be written, who should not be written, and where is the
threshold to be written in a paper?

I am asking this because I experienced a situation a few days ago. The
situation was briefly like this:
I and my colleague have decided to arrange a poster for a local conference
in Turkey. After two weeks of hard working we prepared the abstract and
wanted to show it to our mutual supervisor. After 2 hours he gave the
abstract to my colleague and said she should send it like this. Then I
realized that this abstract had four names on it, but without my name. My
colleagues name, the "supervisor"s name, and two other professors names.

As a humble graduate student in a third world country and a future
academician this experience broke my desire to science, belief and trust in
my supervisor.

*Few would dispute that researchers have to take responsibility for papers
that have their names on them. A senior laboratory figure who puts his or
her name on a paper without direct supervision or involvement is
unquestionably abusing the system of credit. There have been occasions where
distinguished scientists have put their names irresponsibly on a paper that
has turned out to contain serious errors or fraud. Rightly, some of them
have paid a heavy price.
*—Editorial*, Nature, *p. 831, 26 June 1997

Levent Can


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