Ethics of authorship

When determining the credit for a piece of work, authors should ensure that all those who have made a significant contribution are cited as co-authors. Other individuals who have contributed to the study in a lesser capacity should be acknowledged, but not cited as authors. An author is someone who has made a significant intellectual contribution to the article, this can include but is not limited to:

  • Background theory
  • Design of experiment
  • Device prototype
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Writing of the article or reviewing and/or revising the text and/or figures

IOP Publishing will not arbitrate in cases where these is disagreement over authorship. Authors are expected to reach agreement between themselves regarding credit for authorship, and the order in which author names are presented. If agreement between the authors cannot be reached, the institution(s) where the work was undertaken should be asked to investigate. IOP Publishing has the right to remove your article from the review process until a resolution can be agreed.


Some co-authors will be accountable for the entire article, for example those who provide critical data, written the article, present the findings at conferences or provide leadership for junior colleagues. Other co-authors may be responsible for specific contributions to an article. Where such specific attributions of credit and responsibility are required, authors must make this clear in the acknowledgements of the article otherwise all co-authors will be taken to share full responsibility for all of the paper. Authors should not use acknowledgements misleadingly to imply a contribution or endorsement by individuals who have not, in fact, been involved with the work or given an endorsement.

Responsibility of the corresponding author

It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all named authors have approved the submitted version of the article, and all further revisions, agree to its submission and are willing to take appropriate responsibility for it.

It is important that all authors have approved the final version of the article as accepted for publication.

It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure the paper is not under consideration by any other journal at the time of submission.

Changes in authorship

Any changes to authorship during the publication process must be approved by all authors of the paper, and all authors must confirm to the journal that they give their consent. In addition, you must explain to the journal the reasons behind the change in authorship based on the guidelines above.

Deceased authors

In cases where an author has sadly passed away before a paper has been submitted, we require consent from a familial or legal proxy of the deceased for the paper to be reviewed for potential publication. Deceased authors are still eligible for co-authorship if they made a significant intellectual contribution to the article (see above).