Most biomedical journals apply the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts
Submitted to Biomedical Journals developed by the International Committee of
Medical Journal Editors ( In particular,
Sponsorship, Authorship and Accountability are clearly defined, and the
expected role and contribution of each individual associated with a
manuiscript are specified. (

Journal editors frequently encounter disputes on authorship and the ICMJE
standards are the best I've found to resolve them.

Best regards,

Michael Vannier

Michael W. Vannier, MD
Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Department of Radiology
University of Iowa
200 Hawkins Drive, 3966 JPP
Iowa City, IA 52242

-----Original Message-----
From: Toni Arndt [mailto:toni.arndt@KARO.KI.SE]
Sent: Monday, April 22, 2002 9:38 AM
Subject: [BIOMCH-L] author order

Dear List,

One comment in the recent discussion on plagiarism was that unethical
professors may use students' work and publish it with the professor as first
author and the student only as second. This implied a "ranking" of authors
on a publication going from 1st = most important (did most work, is
responsible for the project, receives most credit etc), 2nd = next most
important and so on to last = least important but still somehow involved.

I have spent some time in Sweden and here there is a general consensus that
the last author is often the supervisor of the project (or in the above case
the student's professor if he had some morals). The "importance ranking"
then stretches from the second to the next to last author. Is this different
in the USA? This would appear to introduce confusion when reading
publications from different groups from different countries. There would be
many Swedish professors whom have invested considerable time in their
students' work but, as they are listed last on the publications may be
regarded as quite unimportant overseas.

Are there different opinions on how to interpret which author is written
where? Or is there an international standard "order of authors" applicable
to all areas?


Toni Arndt
Biomechanics Laboratory
Karolinska Institute
Dept. Orthopaedic Surgery K54
Huddinge University Hospital
14186 Huddinge

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