In Academic Research, What Is The Difference Between Ghost, Guest, And Gift Authorship?

As an academic researcher, one should practice a specific field by using the most up-to-date knowledge. In this regard, education system and postgraduate training lay the groundwork for practice. But evidence is always changing. Professionals should engage in life-long development to meet their commitments. Their commitments include providing the best evidence-based knowledge. Thus, in academic research, professionals write research while updating their knowledge. Academic research plays an essential role in influencing research practice. Thus, authors must be fair, credible, honest, and open. Or else, the reader will be unable to analyse the study.
In the academic research, an author has to be creative. His purpose should be to spread creative thoughts and research works. The function of the author entails enormous responsibilities including legal rights and advantages in academic research. Scholars’ careers are reliant on the authorship of scientific publications. This is often motivated by the desire to promote or fail. This article by a coursework writing service discusses the differences between ghost, guest, and gift authorship in academic research.

What Is The Difference Between Ghost, Guest, And Gift Authorship?

Anybody who makes a significant contribution to academic research is an author. Yet, this is not always the case, and the research society is dealing with ghost and guest, and gift authors. A ghost author is someone who contributes to the research or drafting of a publication. Publications should acknowledge those who make minor efforts but are not distinguished as authors, with the amount of their participation specified. A ghost-writer is a professional writer whose participation is not included in research. These authors work for pharmacological firms and scientific organisations. They ensure the prompt release of significant clinical studies. Also, these authors contribute as scientists or clinicians to generate the results. Besides, ghost authorship is present in academic research presenting large-scale clinical studies. You may also find them in legal frameworks and research reviews.

As per the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors rules, guest authors are not a part of academic research; rather, there is a widespread involvement of guest authors. Researchers use guest authorship in place of obtaining funding, financing, or supervision. The lead authors must include their supervisors in academic research even though the guest authors made no significant contribution. Although one can justify extra help in academic research in certain organizations. But they are an exception and not a standard in journals. Guest authorship is immoral. Hence most academic researchers have a specific protocol to prevent this issue.

Guest authors are well-thought experts in this field of expertise. They get compensated for using their name. Some clinicians embrace prestigious or gift authorship to add to their resume. Some others join the header by the related author to return favors such as professional recommendations. Researchers sometimes agree to exchange authorships. They do so by putting their names on others’ works to look more industrious. Some division heads designated as authors are only because of their experience. Many publications need authors to mention their contributions in the final academic research. Due to author regulations, displaying authorship to individuals who have not done the actual work as gifts is unethical. It may become obsolete in academic journals in the future.

These authorship issues in academic research often result in a revision of authorship guidelines. Because of authorship difficulties in academic research, new guidelines are there. Publishers want researchers to prevent such disagreement by following these guidelines:

The research committees must determine the co-authors and collaborators of an academic research. After that, they must study the requirements in research publications that describe who qualifies for authorship and co-authorship. They must also determine who qualifies for or acknowledgement for validation. In the end, identify specific parts played by individuals to hold people accountable. Authorities must hold accountable people for the stated efforts.

Ghost and guest authorships are unlawful and unprofessional. The most serious concern is that ghost and guest authors can alter care delivery. This happens when such authorships impact on practitioners and academics. Such authorships restrict the audience of the opportunity to assess a published document. Research shows that pain medicine professionals were punished for employing treatments and drugs that had insufficient evidence. But pain experts depend on data obtained from actual narratives. As well as systematic reviews from peer-reviewed publications. And they believe the material is accurate. These authorship activities represent a breach of commitment. The usage of novel remedies recommended by guest or ghost authors are not meant to help the patients.

Researchers discovered that 75% of trials driven by industries were ghost authored.  The names of the authors were not included. People who produced, assessed, and produced the data were not included. Their names were also not mentioned in the study group or writing committee members. Not even in acknowledgements. Ghost authorship marketed several medications which is a major flaw and unethical conduct.

To spot the differences between ghost, guest, and gift authorship in academic research we need to act to banish unethical practice. The editor of the journal must not accept irrelevant contributions. As they must know that ghost and guest authorship is a misconduct. One should specify each author’s role since many journals now have this option. Journals should acknowledge those who participated to a limited extent. And should specify their responsibilities. They must not list individuals based on their academic reputation or mutual benefit. Practitioners and educationalists should read all scientific papers with criticality. They should pay close attention to those backed by funds in the industry. The academic research sector should not entertain ghost, guest, or gift authorship. Since it is unethical and not acceptable in any scientific domain.


In academic research, these are the differences between guest, ghost, and gift authorship. One must know about the differences between these authorships. So that you can spot any unethical acts or misconduct in academic research.

Leave a Reply