Every month we highlight a publication ethics case that has been brought to the COPE Forum, or a query posted to COPE council by one of our members.
A paper was submitted to a journal and the authorship list included an employee of the company that produces and sells the preparation discussed in the article. The authors stated that they were responsible for all of the content and editorial decisions. On the revised version of the manuscript the author of all the changes was identified by the word processor tracking as someone whose name appeared neither in the author list nor in the acknowledgements. The company’s website lists this individual as a ‘scientific communications manager’. The editor asked the Forum if this person’s contribution is simply copy editing or does it justify authorship?