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Group and Collaborative Author Lists 

Group and Collaborative Author Lists
Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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Group and Collaborative Author Lists

A list of participants in a collaborative group may also be included in the Acknowledgment5 (see 5.1.7, Authorship Responsibility, Group and Collaborative Authorship). However, a lengthy acknowledgment may occupy an excessive amount of journal space. Some editors have proposed limits on the length of an acknowledgment (eg, 1 column of a journal page or 600 words of reduced type),6 but such limits seem contrary to commitments to greater transparency of the contributions to scientific publication, and journals should carefully evaluate the appropriateness of any limits on the length of acknowledgments. Yet the need to credit assistance from individuals, especially in large multicenter clinical trials, varies considerably. Thus, the editor and corresponding author should determine the length of published acknowledgments on a case-by-case basis. If it is determined that there is not sufficient space in a print publication to include a long list of collaborative participants, the list can be published online with a note indicating so in the Acknowledgment section:

A list of study investigators and participating centers of the European Diabetes Intervention Trial is available online at

Alternatively, if a long list of group members or collaborators has been published previously and has not changed in the interim, the list can be cited in the affiliation footnote or Acknowledgment section as follows, provided that the names of all authors are also indicated in the published article:

A full list of investigators and participating centers of the European Diabetes Intervention Trial as of October 20, 2005, was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2005;165[22]:2488-2499).

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