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Authorship guidelines for “FAIR Phytoliths: Increasing the FAIRness of phytolith data”


To clarify authorship guidance for papers and other publications, which arise from the FAIR Phytoliths project.


  • To recognise the collaborative nature of the FAIR Phytoliths project and that the project could not be possible without the help of the wider phytolith community.
  • To represent inclusivity and generosity in authorship while recognising there is a need to meet authorship criteria in the spirit in which journals have written them.
  • To recognise that authorship requires a meaningful contribution to the body of work leading to the publication.
  • To provide clear, explicit criteria for authorship.
  • To provide potential authors with the expectations the FAIR Phytoliths project has for authorship.

Authorship criteria

We propose adopting the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship (as used, for example, by the Lancet). These are criteria that are followed by many scientific journals.

The ICMJE guidelines provide a list of four criteria upon which authorship should be based;

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the article or revising it for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. 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.

Therefore, to be a named author on our publications you need to fullfill all four of these criteria. This means you would be working either within the core team or as an active contributor to the project.

However, we also want to recognise that our project would not be possible without substantial input from the wider phytolith community, therefore our last author will always be The Open Phytolith Community.

Author order

1. Core team:

  • This team currently includes (in alphabetical order) Juan José García-Granero, Emma Karoune, Carla Lancelotti, Marco Madella and Javier Ruiz-Pérez.
  • The core team names will always be first on any publications to reflect the substantial work they have made to the initation, design and running of the project.
  • The order of the names will reflect the core team members individual contributions to specific publications but it is planned to allow all core team members the opportunity to be first author if they wish.
  • Corresponding author/s may be selected as a different team member from the first author.

2. Active contributor:

  • This group will be second after the core team on any publications.
  • These contributors will be required to make a substantial contribution to meet criteria 1 of the authorship criteria above.
  • They must also be active in the revision and approval of the publication and agree to be accountable for the work within the paper.
  • These contributors will be named in alphabetical order in the author list.

3. The Open Phytolith Community:

  • This includes anyone that has made a named contribution to our project. These contributions are recorded using the all contributions bot and can be seen in both our GitHub repository README file and home page.
  • This might include contributors that are active within the community but do not want to take the time to fulfill all four of the authorship criteria.
  • The barrier for entry onto the list of contributors is very low. If you have contributed in any of the ways listed in the emoji key then please ask one of the core team to use the all contributors bot to add you to the list.

We appreciate all and any contributions made to this project! ❤️ 🙌 🎉