How many authors are needed to write a review?

Silvia Maina, Mario Di Napoli



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We received with pleasure the letter of Prof. Manfredi, published in the present Reviews in Health Care issue (see pages 137-140), that underlines the problem of the proliferation of authors in HIV-related articles.

This is not a new topic. In the last 40 years there has been a dramatic increase, not only in the volume of publications but also in the number of authors per article. However, after all these years, the discussion about authorship is still relevant and ongoing in biomedical literature. A variety of authorship standards exist; nonetheless, adoption of these criteria has not been universal and misconduct cases related to irresponsible authorship are still quite common, including ghostwriting, gift or honorary authorship, duplicate and redundant publication and, in some cases, the authors’ refusal to accept responsibility for their articles despite their ready acceptance of credit. Publication in biomedical literature is important because it is the major pathway by which new concepts and discoveries are disseminated amongst scientists, but it is also the only way for a researcher to survive in a competitive world as the biomedical field. “Publish or perish!” is the actual common saying in the biomedical research field.


Reviews; Authorship; Misconduct

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