1. Chyun, Deborah A.
  2. Henly, Susan J.

Article Content

Like us (Chyun & Henly, 2015), Dr. Lindo emphasized the importance of discussing authorship issues with students throughout all mentored research processes. She raised several important questions related to faculty-student authorship, including conflicts regarding attribution of authorship and authorship order. She raised an additional question asking if faculty should assume first authorship on papers based on student work where students have failed to draft papers from work they conducted during training. We did not discuss this situation in our recent editorial. This scenario implies that the faculty member themselves would write the manuscript and does not appear to be directly addressed in currently available guidelines. The American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2010, Section 8.12: Publication Credit) states: "except under exceptional circumstances, a student is listed as principal author on any multiple-authored article that is substantially based on the student's doctoral dissertation. Faculty advisors discuss publication credit with students as early as feasible and throughout the research and publication process as appropriate." The APA principle begs the question of whether a student not following through with submission of a manuscript is an "exceptional circumstance." The ACA Code of Ethics (American Counseling Association, 2014, p. 17) goes further to state: "manuscripts or professional presentations in any medium that are substantially based on a student's course papers, projects, dissertations, or theses are used only with the student's permission and list the student as the lead author." This statement seems to rest on the assumption of student independence in conduct of the work, without considering investments of the advisor/supervisor. This situation raises special concerns when the student work is based on secondary analysis of data that is part of a project on which the advisor/supervisor (or an examining committee member) is the principal investigator. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (American Nurses Association, 2015) does not directly address publication issues.


Foster and Ray (2012) proposed that faculty be guided by aspirational ethics, that is, ideal ethical conduct-beneficence and nonmaleficence, fidelity and responsibility, integrity, justice and respect for people's rights, and dignity (APA, 2010)-and proposed a decision-making model for authorship. In a slightly different vignette, they suggested that the faculty member should consult with other colleagues and with the student regarding authorship. They went on to stress that, in addition to clear communication, authorship order needs to be continually addressed throughout manuscript preparation and that students need to be protected, given power differences between faculty and students. The need for students to understand the ethical obligation to publish their findings and faculty expectations to do so should be made clear at the outset of the research project. The need for faculty to have publications because of tenure or other academic requirements is not an acceptable rationale for authorship order or taking over the writing of a manuscript.


We are interested in our readers' responses to the question:What should an advisor/supervisor do about publication when a student does not write a paper for submission to a scientific journal following completion of a research project that was the basis for a thesis or dissertation? Go to and respond to the poll on our journal homepage.




American Counseling Association. ( 2014). 2014 ACA code of ethics. Retrieved from[Context Link]


American Nurses Association. ( 2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements Washington, DC: Author. [Context Link]


American Psychological Association. ( 2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from[Context Link]


Chyun D. A., Henly S. J. ( 2015). New scholars writing for publication [Editorial]. Nursing Research, 64, 231-234. doi:10.1097/NNR.0000000000000109 [Context Link]


Foster R. D., Ray D. C. ( 2012). An ethical decision-making model to determine authorship credit in published faculty-student collaborations. Counseling and Values, 57, 214-228. doi:10.1002/j.2161-007X.2012.00018.x [Context Link]


Lindo, LePage, & Beason ( 2016). Should faculty assume first authorship on papers when students fail to draft papers from work they conducted during training? [Letter]. Nursing Research, 65, 95.