This question is not really about who can be considered a coauthor of a given journal paper —or maybe it is, after all— but rather about how to specify the different roles, levels of implication or contributions of each of the coauthors, in case this would mean to be done.

My question is: Is there any standard about how to specify the different roles or contributions of the coauthors of a given journal paper? I do not mean the importance of coauthors that can maybe deduced from their order in the author list (see What does first authorship really mean?, Authorship allocation - is it common to grant equal credit to two last authors?, for instance), but a way to explicitly specify the implication of each of the coauthors, in a sort of standard way.

I remember someone saying this could be added at the end of each article, as a way to make the contribution of each coauthor clearer.

Actually, my question is highly related to this previous one: Revamping Paper Authorship, *or* Should Papers Roll Credits, which has only received one answer and is still open at the moment of writing.

I have found some interesting webpages and articles dealing with this subject:

So, maybe my question is actually about the state of the art of this subject: how to credit authorship in a standard way or standard authorship crediting.

Other related questions in this site:

2 Answers 2


There is now a (reasonably) standard way of specifying author contributions, at least in some fields: a CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) statement, see http://credit.niso.org/. It was first introduced by Brand et al. (2015), and there are quite a few follow-up publications about it. E.g., Cell Press, Wiley and Elsevier do not seem to require it for all journals but at least endorse it. It uses a precisely defined taxonomy of 14 different contributions an author could have made. The roles are the following (screenshot from the above link):

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Detailed descriptions of the different roles can also be found under the above link.

A typical statement might look like this (screenshot from the Elsevier page linked above):

enter image description here

Notice that it is perfectly fine to list contributions by people who are not authors of the paper.


There is no standard way, not even in the same field or sometimes even the same journal.

But when people put contributions at the end, it typically looks something like this:

Author Contributions
AB conceived the project. CD and EF designed the experiments. AB and GH performed the experiments. CD and EF analyzed the data. AB wrote the article with input from all the other authors.

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