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Table 4 Thematic grouping of text-based responses describing why or why not patients should be permitted to be authors or co-authors on biomedical manuscripts

From: Editors-in-chief perceptions of patients as (co) authors on publications and the acceptability of ICMJE authorship criteria: a cross-sectional survey

Category N (%)a Example statements
Contributes to research positively 13 (18.3) “It is a relevant action that must be accomplished by the journals”
“In many cases, they make significant contributions to data acquisition and analysis or perform critical functions, without which, the studies could not be completed”
Supports equity between patients and researchers 9 (12.7) “Their opinions are as worth as those of medical/technical authors”
“it is a matter of ownership and equity (ie fairness)”
Statement reflects a misunderstanding of patient partnership 3 (4.2) “Patient, who are participating in study are not independent authors and may have inappropriate influence on final form of manuscript”
“As subjects in the study, their inclusion would likely introduce significant bias.”
Patients and researchers must follow same authorship rules 18 (25.4) “if they meet the criteria for authorship as defined by ICMJE see no problem”
“Unless the patient was involved in the design and analysis of the data I do not think the subject should be considered to be co-authors.”
Patients don’t have the skills to be co-authors 12 (16.9) “They are not scientifically trained”
“They may not be fully conversant with the publication process, ethics in scientific publishing”
Patients may be biased 8 (11.3) “Bias can not be controlled”
“Patients are also a part of the conflict of interest.”
Unacceptable in principle 3 (4.2) “I feel medical journals are for professional publications only”
“It is the researcher who is responsible for such activities.”
Other 14 (19.7) “Only for nonintervention studies”
“I have no opinion one way or the other. It is not relevant to the subject matter of our journal”
  1. aThere were 71 unique statements provided, but some were coded as falling into two categories