I'm preparing a submission to Royal Society Biology Letters, and they also require that each author's CRediT contribution is provided. I'm not familiar with this (I usually publish in engineering venues that do not require detailed contributions), could someone clarify a few things?

There are four options for each category: lead, equal, supporting, and not ticking the checkbox.

Question 1
I'm assuming that not ticking a checkbox is a valid entry for "no contribution" for that category. If a category is not very relevant for the study, can it be skipped entirely?

Question 2
Are lead and equal mutually exclusive? Or can they be used to split contributions into three levels? Same between supporting and equal. (Author 1: Lead, Author 2: Equal, Author 3: Equal, Author 4: Supporting 5:Supporting)?

edit: in a bizarre turn of events, when I logged back in the CRediT accreditation was no longer in the system, and instead there was a field for freetext in which to write a statement of contributions, following RS's own guidelines. No idea what happened there.

  • Does it really work?
    – user111388
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 19:17
  • I suppose it depends on what you mean by "work". Does it incentivize people to have this conversation earlier, add clarity to author contributions, and to what should be considered a sufficient contribution for co-authorship? Probably. Does it eliminate free-ride authorship without sufficient contribution entirely? Quite certainly not. Is it a good requirement for journals to have? I think so.
    – Steve Heim
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


Journals use a variety of formats for reporting author contributions. This content is like a conflict of interest statement—it's not typically evaluated as part of the peer review, but more a contractual reassurance in case of later concerns such as whether an author is added with no contribution.

I've used CRediT statements in several published papers. I don't know a citation for my claims below, but I strongly suspect:

  1. Yes
  2. Not mutually exclusive

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .