Farm Animal Health and Nutrition (FAHN) endorses the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidance concerning authorship credit. According to the guidance, the authorship is based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4”. Authorship is an important aspect of research publication, and all involved authors should agree on the whole contents of the document including authorship. Contributors should be differentiated from authors as recommended by the ICMJE.


Criteria for Authorship

The author is the only one who has made substantial intellectual contributions to the manuscript. Collaborations like technical services, translation, preparation of patients for the study, supplying materials, funding, or facility administrative oversight where the work was done are not, in themselves, sufficient for authorship; however, these contributions may be acknowledged in the manuscript. One author (a “guarantor”) should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole. It is often the corresponding author who submits the manuscript and receives reviews although other authors can play this role. All authors should approve the final version of the manuscript. It is preferable that all authors be familiar with all aspects of the work. However, modern research is often done in teams with complementary expertise so every author may not be equally familiar with all aspects of the work. Therefore, some authors’ contributions may be limited to specific aspects of the work as a whole.

Number and Order of Authors

Editors should not arbitrarily limit the number of authors. There are legitimate reasons for multiple authors in some kinds of research, such as multi-center, randomized controlled trials. In these situations, a subset of authors may be listed with the title, with the notation that they have prepared the manuscript on behalf of all contributors, who are then listed in an appendix to the published article. Alternatively, a “corporate” author (e.g., a “Group” name) representing all authors in a named study may be listed, as long as one investigator takes responsibility for the work as a whole. In either case, all individuals listed as authors should meet the criteria for authorship whether or not they are listed explicitly on the byline. If editors believe the number of authors is unusually large, relative to the scope and complexity of the work, they can ask for a detailed description of each author’s contributions to the work. If some do not meet the criteria for authorship, editors can ask for the removal of their names as a condition of publication.
The authors themselves should decide the order in which authors are listed in an article. No one else knows as well as they do their respective contributions and the agreements they have made among themselves. Many different criteria are used to decide the order of authorship. Among these are relative contributions to the work and, in situations where all authors have contributed equally, alphabetical or random order. Readers cannot know, and should not assume, the meaning of the order of authorship unless the approach to assigning order has been described by the authors. Authors may want to include with their manuscript a description of how the order was decided. If so, editors should welcome this information and publish it with the manuscript.


Authorship Changes, Disputes, and Agreements
After the manuscript is submitted or accepted for publication, the corresponding author is required to send a request through the signed change of authorship form to add or remove an author or to rearrange the author names of the submitted/accepted manuscript. All the authors should approve any change in authorship (i.e., adding, removing, or reordering existing authors) after initial submission. Authors should determine the order of authorship among themselves. In addition, any alterations must be clarified to the Editor-in-chief. following COPE guideline. FAHN requires written confirmation from all authors that they agree with any proposed changes in authorship of submission(s) or published item(s). This confirmation must be via direct email from each author. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors confirm they agree with the proposed changes. If there is disagreement amongst the authors concerning authorship and a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, the authors must contact their institution(s) for a resolution. It is not the journal editor’s responsibility to resolve authorship disputes. A change in authorship of a published article can only be amended via the publication of an Erratum.

WAME Recommendations on Chatbots

Authors should note that any chatbots, such as ChatGPT do not meet ICMJE authorship. Therefore, all authors who participate in the manuscript should meet the authorship criterion, meaning that chatbots cannot be considered authors.

When using chatbots, authors are required to transparently mention the chatbot used (name, version, model, source) and method of application in the paper they are submitting (query structure, syntax), which is in line with  ICMJE recommendation of acknowledging writing assistance.

Authors should take responsibility for the text produced by a chatbot in their paper. This includes the accuracy of the produced content, the absence of plagiarism, and the appropriate attribution of all sources. Authors are expected to mark the text produced by the chatbot.


Competing Interest
Authors are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The ICMJE has developed a Disclosure Form to facilitate and standardize the authors’ disclosures. The corresponding author of an article is required to inform the Editor of the authors’ potential conflicts of interest/competing interests possibly influencing the research or interpretation of data. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed in the cover letter even when the authors are confident that their judgments have not been influenced in preparing the manuscript. Such conflicts may include financial support or private connections to pharmaceutical companies, political pressure from interest groups, or academic problems. The disclosure form shall be the same as ICMJE Uniform Disclosure Form for Potential Conflicts of Interest. The Editor will decide whether the information on the conflicts should be included in the published paper.