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Develop a publication: number of authors and order of signature

The number of authors and the order of signature is an important element in publication, since it is a valued aspect in the evaluation of university professors and researchers ( CNEAI , ANECA )

ANECA in the general assessment of scientific publications explicitly says that it will be taken "...into account the number of authors, reducing each publication value where the number of authors exceeds the specialty average". It also adds  that " the number of authors is valued and, when relevant, the position of the applicant between them is also valued".

The number of authors of a work must be justified by the subject, its complexity and extension and must respond to an active participation in its elaboration as director or executor of the work.

The average number of authors per contribution is different for each specialty. There is no rule about it, it is an accepted practice followed by the researchers of each discipline.

It may be indicative  the study by the EC3 CO-AUTHOR INDEX : a tool that aims to measure the rate of co-authorship in articles published by Spanish authors in national and international journals with different indicators.

Besides the prestige and the valuation of signing in early position in a collective work,  the order of signature it is important to locate information about the authors in the databases:

  • Authors appearing in the firs place guarantees a correct recovery of all quotations received.
  • Not all databases index to all authors listed in a cited reference.
  • The chosen quotation style determines the number of authors referenced directly in the case of collective works.

The order of signing a collective publication should be done according to the importance of the contribution.


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