How many co-authors are allowed in an article?

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The topic of co-authorship is relevant and requires attention. We decided to cover it and answer the most common questions regarding international cooperation during the preparation of the article for publication.  

How many co-authors are allowed in an article?

What is co-authorship?

Co-authorship is the participation of several scientists in the work on one study, its preparation and description in a scientific article.

Types of co-authorship

Divisible. In this case, each scientist describes their part of the study. Scientists can use their share at their discretion and even prohibit its publication in the given article.

Indivisible. The article is a single whole. None of the authors can prohibit the use of a part of it without good reason.

Responsibility of authors: in case of divisible co-authorship, each scientist is responsible for their part of the work, in case of indivisible co-authorship, all authors are responsible for the material that is published and indexed.

What does the author gain from collaborating with other scientists?

  • • Together, you can infuse research with even deeper insights and solutions.
  • • By cooperating, you will be capable of achieving more in technical terms.
  • • Saving time, energy resources, and money.
  • • The "intellectual weight" of the article increases, which may contribute to a faster peer review and publication in a prestigious journal.
  • • Collaboration is a unique experience that every scientist needs.

Scopus and Web of Science's attitude towards co-authorship

In connection with the introduction of scientometric indicators, the topic of co-authorship has recently become very popular, especially in the international scientific community. Scopus and Web of Science databases support researchers in their quest to unite and implement joint publication.

But this topic also lies in the plane of scientific ethics, or rather in the allowable number of co-authors in one article. In 2015, a record figure was recorded – over 5,000 co-authors in one article. In terms of different sciences, in medical sciences the number of co-authors can be up to 10 people, in the physical and chemical sciences there are smaller teams.

Scientific co-authorship and its acceptable threshold

Permissible number of scientists per article

Scopus and Web of Science welcome no more than 5 co-authors. The specialists of our company also adhere to this opinion and control this issue during the search for co-authors to work on a common article and its publication.

Who can be on the list of co-authors?

Scientists who have made a significant contribution to the development of the study are added to the list of co-authors. Co-authorship is established only by result, not by process. Scientific ethics helps in this matter.

How to find a co-author?

The development of the Internet and social networks facilitates the search – scientists have more conditions for cooperation on research. This is becoming a trend and opens up potential opportunities for relevant and important discoveries. 

Scientometric databases of Scopus and Web of Science provide convenient tools for finding colleagues in your field and for collaboration. You can see more details about the search engine of one of these databases in our video from the Scientific and Educational Centre.

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