Collaboration is a way of life in academia. Our research endeavors depend on the expertise of others. Group efforts are needed to review and revise curricula. Colleagues usually work cooperatively and enjoyably toward mutual goals. However, sometimes persons who have worked productively together end up feeling bitter toward one another. It is unfortunate when colleagues have irreconcilable differences but it is not always preventable. However, misunderstandings over the sharing of the fruits of collaborative labors can be prevented by having an honest and forthright discussion at the beginning of the collaborative relationship.
Before beginning any research, course development, curriculum revision, or other scholarly work the following questions should be discussed and agreed on:
* Does any member "own" a specific part of the project?
* What are the plans for publishing the process or results?
* What responsibility will each member assume?
* Whose name will be first in any publication(s)?
* Will each publication include the name of the other(s)?
Lack of discussion and agreement on these questions can lead to animosity and destroy professional relationships.
Two other relationships warrant special discussion. Faculty thesis or dissertation advisors must clearly state any expectations they have for acknowledgment in the publication(s) of a student's study. Consultants working with faculty groups should seek the group's approval before preparing any work for publication resulting from the group's endeavors. These understandings should be reached early in the relationship.
The American Psychological Association has published clear ethical principles for its members, and these principles bear repeating in this journal. They are:
Authorship is reserved for persons who receive primary credit and hold responsibility for published work. Authorship encompasses not only those who do the actual writing but also those who have made substantial scientific contributions . . . Publication credit is assigned to those who have contributed to a publication in proportion to their professional contributions . . . Major contributions of a professional character made by several persons to a common project are recognized by joint authorship, with the individual who made the principal contribution listed first . . . Substantial professional contributions may include formulating the problem or hypothesis, structuring the design, organizing and conducting the statistical analysis, interpreting results, or writing a major portion of the paper. Writers should always obtain a person's consent before including that person's name in a by-line or in a note . . . Minor contributions of a professional character and extensive clerical or similar nonprofessional assistance may be acknowledged in footnotes . . .
Consistent with other scholarly journals, the Journal of Nursing Education assumes no responsibility for the statements and opinions advanced by its contributors, nor for determining the contributions of others. Authors are responsible for determining authorship and for specifying the order in which two or more authors' names appear in the by-line.