Courtesy Authorship - Case B4
Dr. Perry called Dr. Chandler and questioned the addition of Dr. Martin as an author on the manuscript. Dr. Chandler stated that, due to prior collaborations, it was a longstanding policy to include Dr. Martin on all publications coming out of Dr. Chandler's laboratory. Dr. Martin's laboratory had a reciprocal agreement, he added. Dr. Perry stated that he did not feel that Dr. Martin was a qualified author on this particular paper since he had not made a significant contribution to the work being published. Dr. Chandler replied that Dr. Perry did not have the right to question the policy of a laboratory in which he had worked as an invited guest. Dr. Perry maintained his position that Dr. Martin did not belong as an author on the paper and further stated that if Dr. Chandler insisted on including Dr. Martin's name, then, as first author, Dr. Perry would not allow the paper to be submitted. Dr. Chandler responded, "Well, you can withdraw your name, but the work was done here in my laboratory and we plan to submit the paper for publication."
- What do you think of the reciprocal agreement between Dr. Martin's and Dr. Chandler's laboratories? Were Dr. Perry's concerns legitimate?
- Dr. Perry was a tenured professor at a different institution from Dr. Chandler's. Under these circumstances it may have been relatively easy for him to voice his concerns to Dr. Chandler. What difficulties might a postdoctoral or graduate student in Dr. Chandler's lab have in handling this situation? How might those difficulties be overcome?
- The results of this project are significant and provide a novel insight into the field that could prove beneficial to many investigators in the area. Therefore, should Dr. Perry compromise with Dr. Chandler so that the paper can be promptly published? Which consideration -- authorship or publication -- is more important in the advancement of science?
- What do you think of Dr. Chandler's statement in the concluding sentence of the case? Would it be appropriate for Dr. Chandler to proceed with publishing the paper? What are Dr. Perry's and Dr. Chandler's rights with respect to the data and the publication of the data?
- Assume that Dr. Martin in fact reviewed and commented on all drafts of the paper in question. Could this contribution to the effort be significant enough to merit authorship?