Letter to the Editor: Honorary Authorships in Surgical Literature
In response to the article by JD Luiten and co-authors (WJS, March 2019) reporting their findings on continuing usage of honorary authorship, this letter seeks to highlight the complexity of conducting research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and to encourage inclusiveness and meaningful recognition of colleagues/co- workers that might appear technically as honorary but reflect essential contributions.
Editors of leading surgical and medical journals encourage submissions from LMICs. Some journals, including World Journal of Surgery, require a local collaborator as author, but this can be problematic. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines are respected and links to their criteria are provided on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website. If researchers believe they must adhere to ICMJE guidelines, they may classify some work by local colleagues as unqualified for authorship.