6.1. Who may be an author?
The status of author is not dependent upon belonging to a given profession or on hierarchical position, nor to employment status, but rather to the contribution made by the individual to the research.
6.2. Who should be an author?
To fully meet the criteria of author of a publication or patent, an individual must a) have made a substantial contribution to the creative process, that is, to the conception and design of the study, or to the analysis and interpretation of the data; b) have contributed to the preparation of the communications, reports, or publications that have arisen; c) be able to present in detail his or her contribution to the project and to discuss the main aspects of the overall research. All authors should confirm in writing their agreement with the final version of original manuscripts submitted for publication or registration.
6.3. Provision of data, expert reports, or experimental subjects
Mere participation in obtaining resources or in data collection, such as, for example, the provision of routine data or experimental subjects, does not necessarily justify the condition of author, although such involvement should be recognized in the Acknowledgements section. In studies involving the use of samples, analysis, or expert reports provided by third parties, it is advisable to establish a prior plan relating to communication and authorship in which the potential intellectual contribution to the project is taken into account along with any other elements relating to rights to authorship.
6.4. Honorary and ghost authorship
Any person linked to a research group who requests inclusion as an author on the basis of hierarchical position or professional relationship violates the principles of academic freedom and commits an act of injustice, if not abuse of authority. Likewise, the omission of names of any individuals who have made proven contributions according to the criteria in Section 6.2 represents an act of misappropriation of intellectual property on the part of the other authors.
6.5. Indication of authorship in reports
The preparation of memoranda, technical or work reports, or other written documents for the attention of outside parties must always indicate the authors of the research, the centre or centres with which they are affiliated, and the support received, in the same way as if the document were a scientific publication or patent.
6.6. Order of authorship
As a general rule, the order in which authors appear in scientific publications should be as follows: a) the first author should be the person who has made the greatest contribution to the study and has prepared the first draft of the article; b) the senior author who directed or has final responsibility for the research project appears as the last author; c) the remaining authors may appear in order of importance and, in certain cases, in alphabetical order. The corresponding author is responsible for dealing with the editorial process and future correspondence arising from the publication of the study.
6.7. Shared main authorship
The right exists in scientific publications to justify the order in which authors appear and some journals request this as a condition of publication. When two or more authors have made an equal contribution to the same study and have shared responsibility for preparation of the manuscript, they will be considered as equal first authors. This condition will be made clear in the publication of the article. The same criteria may be applied to intermediate or senior authors.
6.8. Curriculum vitae should be signed
In the preparation of a personal Curriculum vitae, the author is responsible for the accuracy of its content. Consequently, it is advisable that such a document should be signed by the individual who presents it. In the case of a group CV, it is sufficient for the document to be signed by the individual responsible for presenting it.
6.9 Conflict of interest declarations
Conflicts of interest may be financial or personal and where possible should be avoided. If it is impossible to avoid them, conflicts of interest should be declared by all authors of an article.