Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the work reported and who share responsibility and accountability for the results.
The guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which have been adopted by countless publishers and learned societies (including SAE), state that authorship should be limited to those who have fulfilled the following criteria:
In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have the confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors." (Quoted from the COPE website and accessed March 29, 2023: https://publicationethics.org/resources/discussion-documents/authorship)
SAE also supports McNutt et al.’s (2018) guidelines on how to credit all authors on a paper:
"Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it; AND to have approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author’s contribution to the study); AND to have agreed both to be personally accountable for the author’s own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature." [p. 2558] (Quoted from McNutt et al., “Transparency in Authors’ Contributions and Responsibilities to Promote Integrity in Scientific Publication,” PNAS, 115, no. 11 (2018): 2557-2560, doi: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1715374115
If others participated in substantial aspects of the research but do not meet the criteria for authorship, they should be listed in an acknowledgements section.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. Those who did not make a meaningful contribution should not be included as contributing authors for the sake of prestige or their own referencing quota.
For studies conducted by large, multi-centered groups, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Knowing, intentional, or reckless violation of this policy is considered research misconduct.
Corresponding authors must ensure that all researchers that are named in an article must have contributed substantially to the research and warrant that all named authors fulfill the authorship criteria listed above, that no one deserving of authorship has been omitted, that each author takes responsibility for the integrity of the paper, and that each author agrees to the order of authors. Contributors who do not meet the criteria could be listed in an acknowledgements section.
For questions and further clarification, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.