How to Determine the Order of Authorship for Social Work Research

Monit Cheung*, Patrick Leung, Carol A. Leung, Simon Tak Mau Chan, Shu Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Purpose: Coauthorship is a means for assessing each contributor’s effort on a joint publication. This study aims to identify methods to determine publication coauthorship for crediting effort and order. Method: The research team searched for a framework to affirm the decision-making process when preparing for a coauthored publication by analyzing existing literature and published guidelines in authorship determination. Results: Four coauthorship principles—fairness, accountability, transparency, and effort (FATE)—were described with guidelines. The FATE framework helped the team develop a checklist for scholars to document their research productivity in collaborative projects. Examples of questions were derived from the framework to stimulate educational discussions and collaborative research ideas. Discussion: The coauthorship checklist could provide support for mentors to evaluate their protégés’ performance. Further research is needed to justify its application for initiating conversations about coauthorship. Operational guidelines should also be developed to prevent biases in reporting effort contributions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number3
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • accountability
  • coauthorship checklist
  • collaborative research
  • order of coauthors
  • research ethics
  • researcher credit


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