Aim: To present the inappropriate types of authorship and practice, and the most recent developments related to basic principles and criteria to a fair system for allocating authorship in scientific publications.
Methods: An analysis of relevant materials and documents, sources from the internet and published literature and personal experience and observations of the author.
Results: Working in multidisciplinary teams is a common feature of modern research processes. The most sensitive question is how to decide on who to acknowledge as author of a multi-authored publication. The pertinence of this question is growing with the increasing importance of individual scientists’ publication records for professional status and career. However, discussions about authorship allocation might lead to serious conflicts and disputes among coworkers which could even endanger cooperation and successful completion of a research project. It seems that discussion and education about ethical standards and practical guidelines for fairly allocating authorship are insufficient and the question of ethical practices related to authorship in multi-authored publications remains generally unresolved.
Conclusion: It is necessary to work for raising awareness about the importance and need for education about principles of scientific communication and fair allocation of authorship, ethics of research and publication of results. The use of various forms of education in the scientific community, especially young researchers and students, in order to create an ethical environment, is one of the most effective ways to prevent the emergence of scientific and publication dishonesty and fraud, including pathology of authorship.