Dr Trevor Lane, COPE Council member, was invited by the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources of the Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia, to give an online seminar on 1 July 2022 about authorship issues. Titled “Publication Ethics and Authorship Dispute”, the hour-long event was targeted at university researchers aiming to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals, as well as at research administrators.
Focusing on avoiding authorship problems and highlighting relevant COPE resources, the webinar covered various authorship definitions, authorship versus contributorship, investigating and avoiding unethical authorship practices from the perspectives of journals and institutions, and advice on early and ongoing precautions to avoid authorship disputes. The conclusion was that ultimately, transparent and fair research assessment and review are needed to promote publication integrity and ethical publishing practices. Assessment processes and healthy motivations must value and reward quality over quantity and shift self-serving and self-preserving routines of “publish or perish” or even “publish and flourish” towards research stewardship, serving the public good, and maximising research impact by nurturing a “publish and nourish” culture.