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Authorship and Ethical Considerations in the Conduct of Observational Studies

Tornetta, Paul III MD1; Siegel, Jodi MD1; McKay, Paula BSc2; Bhandari, Mohit MD, MSc, FRCSC2

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.H.01538
Design, Conduct, and Interpretation of Nonrandomized Orthopaedic Studies--A Practical Approach
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Surgeons who participate in research studies frequently struggle with a number of challenges when determining authorship of the publications that arise from their research. Furthermore, new concerns relating to who receives credit and who takes responsibility have emerged with the increase in multicenter research collaborations. This paper provides a discussion of the importance of authorship and outlines a number of ethical issues that commonly arise when determining the author byline. We also present some strategies, such as publishing under group authorship, listing individual author contributions, and revising the mechanism for acknowledging nonauthor contributions, that have the potential to improve authorship and publication practices.

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston University Medical Center, 850 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118. E-mail address for P. Tornetta III: ptornetta@pol.net

2Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, 293 Wellington Street North, Suite 110, Hamilton, ON L8L 2X2, Canada

Copyright © 2009 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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