Long live the days of the lonelyscientist.
As technology continues to advance, it becomes exceedingly difficultto conduct groundbreaking research alone. Collaboration is vital in a research project– it allows every individual equal opportunity to speak their thoughts and add to an existence body of knowledge. Most projects are headed by a leadresearcher, defined as an experienced researcher who oversees the majority of thework. Once the lead researcher has committed to doing a research project, theyassemble a team of collaborators to ensure the project conducted isscientifically valid, ethically and culturally appropriate, and time/costefficient. Some of the individuals the lead researcher collaborates with maybecome core members of the research team and earn coauthorship. Whilst some research papers inhealth sciences may have only one author, the typical paper contains fourcoauthors and some could have up to dozens of coauthors. Many are considered to be a “middle” coauthor,which is often a step before being a lead author. This role allows you to have anintegral part of the team, while gaining the experience to learn and becomefamiliar with the process of coauthoring.
Others may play a more minor role as consultants, andwhen appropriate, can be thanked in acknowledgement sections of manuscripts thatbenefitted from their contributions. For most disciplines in the health sciences, the personwho does most of the writing is designated as the first author and is listedfirst in credit. The remaining authors are listed in order of contribution, definedin terms of intellectual contribution and time dedicated to the project. Theperson who contributes the second most amount of time and energy to the projectis listed as second author, and so on. When numerous coauthors are involved, whomwith equal contribution, coauthors are normally listed in alphabetical order.However, to avoid emotionally-charged debateover important contributions, decisions of who is listed, and order in which researcherswill be listed should be made early as possible in the research process.TheInternational Committee of MedicalJournal Editors (ICMJE) has established minimum criterion to ensureeveryone who has done the work of a coauthor receives proper recognition andaccepts responsibility for it.
A researcher must meet all four of the followingconditions:1. Makesubstantial contributions to design of the study and/or data collection,analysis, or interpretation. Authorship requires participation in the writing of theresearch report.2.
Allcoauthors make consequential contribution by drafting the manuscript orproviding critical revisions. 3. Approvethe final version of the paper submitted and published to ensure that noone is listed as an author against their permission or knowledge. 4.
Acceptresponsibility for the integrity of the paper. There should be noghost authorships, where someone who has made a substantial intellectual contributionis not appropriately recognized, and no gift authorships, in which someone isgiven honorary coauthorship without having significantly contributed to thework. In a research studyabout antimicrobial resistance, effectivecollaboration and partnerships are crucial in building revolutionary research. Thus,coauthoring will be very important within this study. The authors involved are allentitled to recognition of their contribution, which will ultimately giveincentive for further research funding and serve as the basis for continuedcareer development.