Reliability of science is one of its qualitative foundations. Readers should be guaranteed that authors of publications present the results of their work in a clear, reliable and honest manner regardless of the fact whether they are the direct authors of publication or they took benefit of specialized help (natural or legal person).
Openness of information on any party contributing to preparation of a publication (content-related, material, financial, etc. input) is proof of ethical attitude of a research worker and of high editorial standards and that is an indication of both good practice and social responsibility.
Ghostwriting and guest authorship are contradictory examples.
Ghostwriting is a situation where a person contributes significantly to a publication and is not disclosed as one of the authors or named in the acknowledgments.
Guest authorship (honorary authorship) is a situation where an author’s contribution is insignificant or non existent and he is still listed as author/co-author of a publication.
To prevent cases of ghostwriting and guest authorship editorial office should implement adequate procedures specific to discipline represented or implement the procedure specified below:
- The editorial office should require authors to disclose contribution of individual authors to preparation of a publication (with a list of their affiliations) in detail,
i.e. provide information on who is the author of concept, premises, methods, protocol etc. used in the publication. Main responsibility to disclose full information remains on author submitting manuscript.
- The editorial office should explain in the Instructions for authors that ghostwriting and guest authorship are indication of scientific dishonesty and all cases will be exposed
and adequate institutions will be informed (employers, scientific societies, scientific editors associations, etc.)
- The editorial office should acquire information on sources of financing of a publication, financial contributions of research institutions, scientific associations and other (financial disclosure).
- The editorial office should document all indications of scientific dishonesty especially of violation of ethical principals followed in science.