Who are data 'authors'?

The authors of a dataset should include anyone who contributed substantially to data collection, processing, and analysis.

The authors need not necessarily be the same as the authors of a related journal publication.

It is a matter for the data depositor to decide who to include as an author of a dataset.  However, we would recommend that the following NOT be included:

  • A person who made a minimal contribution to the data
  • A person who contributed only to a related paper that used the data
  • A person/organisation who secured funding for the project and provided facilities for the research
  • A press officer/media spokesperson

(unless, of course, they also made a significant contribution to the scientific content of the data).


McNutt, M.K, et al. 2018. Transparency in authors’ contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in scientific publication. PNAS. 115(11): 2557-2560. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1715374115