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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Mar;95(3):418-28. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.09.024. Epub 2013 Nov 8.

Honorary authorship: frequency and associated factors in physical medicine and rehabilitation research articles.

Author information

1
HealthPointe-Pain, Spine & Sport Medicine, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: sathish.k.rajasekaran@gmail.com.
2
Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
3
Tahoe Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, South Lake Tahoe, CA; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the prevalences of perceived honorary authorship and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)-defined honorary authorship, and identify factors affecting each rate in the physical medicine and rehabilitation literature.

DESIGN:

Internet-based survey.

SETTING:

Not applicable.

PARTICIPANTS:

First authors of articles published in 3 major physical medicine and rehabilitation journals between January 2009 and December 2011 were surveyed in June and July 2012 (N=1182).

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The reported prevalences of perceived and ICMJE-defined honorary authorship were the primary outcome measures, and multiple factors were analyzed to determine whether they were associated with these measures.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 27.3% (248/908). The prevalences of perceived and ICMJE-defined honorary authorship were 18.0% (44/244) and 55.2% (137/248), respectively. Factors associated with perceived honorary authorship in the multivariate analysis included the suggestion that an honorary author should be included (P<.0001), being a medical resident or fellow (P=.0019), listing "reviewed manuscript" as 1 of the nonauthorship tasks (P=.0013), and the most senior author deciding the authorship order (P=.0469). Living outside North America was independently associated with ICMJE-defined honorary authorship (P=.0079) in the multivariate analysis. In the univariate analysis, indicating that the most senior author decided authorship order was significantly associated with ICMJE-defined honorary authorship (P=<.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that honorary authorship does occur in a significant proportion of the physical medicine and rehabilitation literature. Additionally, we found several factors associated with perceived and ICMJE-defined honorary authorship and a discrepancy between the 2 rates. Further studies with larger response rates are recommended to further explore this topic.

KEYWORDS:

Ethics; Medical ethics; Publishing; Rehabilitation; Research

Comment in

PMID:
24215989
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2013.09.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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