Should authorship on scientific publications be treated as a right?

David B. Resnik, Elise Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sometimes researchers explicitly or implicitly conceive of authorship in terms of moral or ethical rights to authorship when they are dealing with authorship issues. Because treating authorship as a right can encourage unethical behaviours, such as honorary and ghost authorship, buying and selling authorship, and unfair treatment of researchers, we recommend that researchers not conceive of authorship in this way but view it as a description about contributions to research. However, we acknowledge that the arguments we have given for this position are largely speculative and that more empirical research is needed to better ascertain the benefits and risks of treating authorship on scientific publications as a right.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-778
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of medical ethics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023


  • Ethics
  • Ethics- Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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