Document Type


Publication Date



Quality and quantity of publications are among the most important measures determining the success of ecologists. The past 50 years have seen a steady rise in the number of researchers and collaborative manuscripts, and a corresponding increase in multi-authored articles. Despite these increases, there remains a shortage of useful and definitive guidelines to aid ecologists in addressing authorship issues, leading to a lack of consistency in what the term “author” really means. Deciding where to draw the line between those who have earned authorship and those who are more appropriately credited in the acknowledgments may be one of the more challenging aspects of authorship. Here, we borrow ideas from other scientific disciplines and propose a simple solution to help ecologists who are making such decisions. We recommend improving communication between co-authors throughout the research process, and propose that authors publish their contributions to a manuscript in a separate byline.


This article was originally published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, volume 4, issue 8, in 2006. DOI: 10.1890/15409295(2006)4[435:AIEAAA]2.0.CO;2


Ecological Society of America



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.