Authorship Policy

These policies apply to synthesis papers using data collected as part of the Coweeta LTER or supported entirely or in part by the Coweeta LTER.

General guidelines

  • As a primary author, be inclusive.
  • As a potential co-author, honestly consider your contribution and only accept co-authorship if warranted.
  • Discuss authorship early, often, and openly.

Primary author: Be very inclusive in listing potential coauthors on the first draft of the manuscript. Consider as potential co-authors anyone involved in the design of the study, collection of data, analysis of the results, writing the paper, or securing funding for the study. Then send the manuscript out for review by each potential co-author.

Co-authors: Each potential co-author is expected to review the manuscript, provide any comments they may have on the manuscript, and explicitly state to the lead author that they accept or decline co-authorship (see criteria below). If you feel that someone else should be added to the co-author list, send this information the primary author.

Criteria for accepting authorship

  • Significant intellectual contribution to the design of the research or in the securing of funding to support the research.
  • Leadership in the collection or analysis of samples.
  • Participate in the analysis of the data.
  • Participate in preparing the manuscript by either writing or providing substantive input (extensive comments, figures, etc.).
  • Can you explain and or defend the methods and results in the paper and do you generally agree with them?

Therefore, one only accepts authorship when one feels like they’ve made a real contribution to the work, can defend the work, and perhaps most importantly, has (or will make) the time to be actively involved in the process of writing and/or critically reviewing the paper.

Additional Resources

Coweeta LTER authorship guidelines were developed from materials excerpted from the ESA Code of Ethics, as well as instructions and guidelines for authors at the following journals: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Ecosystems, and Science.