Opening CRediT: A new approach to authorship and attribution within academia


  • Ricardo Twumasi King's College London



publishing ethics, research ethics, academic traditions, authorship, collaboration


The traditional approach to academic authorship; listing individuals by their level of contribution and putting the most senior author at the end can lack transparency, introduce unfairness, and reinforces traditional power dynamics in academic seniority. This paper proposes we do away with the traditional approach to academic authorship and author order and replace it with a system of contributors or ‘credits’ with clearly acknowledged (often multiple) roles, which provides a more detailed and comprehensive way of recognising the different types of contributions that authors make to a publication. The idea behind including this contributors list inspired by the system used in movie credits. However, merely listing each contributor as an author is overly simplistic and reinforces unequal power dynamics within academia. This paper aims to contribute to the debate surrounding the role of authorship, power and contribution within academic work. And the role that radical journals like Stolen Tools Tools (a journal that aims to give voice to the marginalised and unrepresented) have in decolonising the traditional conventions that we have adopted in academia which support the privileged at the expense of diverse individuals who tend to wield less power.  Opening CRediT on papers may be a tool in building a fairer and more transparent approach to authorship by providing more transparency and standardisation in recognition of contributions. 


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‘London BLM March’by Jai Toor, 2020