Establishing transparency for each author’s role in a research study is one of the recommendations that recently appeared in a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This interesting information came to us from The Official PLOS Blog in their article, “PLOS Collaborates on Recommendations to Improve Transparency for Author Contributions.”

A group led by Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences, made recommendations that were adapted based on community feedback and peer review from an original draft. PLOS supports the recommendations for increased transparency and has already put some of them in practice.

A more systematic description of author contributions is a prerequisite to providing due credit for roles that are instrumental to the research enterprise, especially those roles that are unfortunately frequently ignored.

The paper also recommends mechanisms by which publishers can bring a minimum level of standardization to the description of author contributions. In fact, PLOS journals have adopted both ORCID and CRediT since 2016.

Melody K. Smith

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