Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Ghost, Guest, and Gift Authorship

  • Charon A. PiersonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_313-1



The COPE discussion document on authorship states, “At a minimum, authors should guarantee that they have done the work as presented and that they have not violated any other author’s legal rights (e.g., copyright) in the process” (COPE Council 2014). Ghost, guest, and gift authorships violate that basic tenet. Ghost authors are individuals who have actually made substantial contributions to the writing of a manuscript, but they are not listed as an author. Professional writers hired to write an article for another individual or group but are not listed as authors or contributors are called ghost authors. People who write essays for hire for student purchase are also ghost writers. Guest authors are added to papers, with or without their knowledge, by another author in an attempt to attach greater prestige or importance to the work or to flatter a senior...

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  1. AMWA–EMWA–ISMPP Joint position statement on the role of professional medical writers (2017) https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.amwa.org/resource/resmgr/about_amwa/JointPositionStatement.Profe.pdf. Accessed 10 Oct 2018
  2. COPE Council (2014) What constitutes authorship? COPE discussion document. https://publicationethics.org/files/u7141/Authorship_DiscussionDocument_0_0.pdf. Accessed 09 Oct 2018
  3. International Council of Medical Journal Editors (2018) Defining the role of authors and contributors. http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html. Accessed 09 Oct 2018

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Committee on Publication EthicsGilbertUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Charon Pierson
    • 1
  1. 1.Secretary for the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)Editor Emeritus of the Journal of the American Association of Nurse PractitionersGilbertUSA