CRediT

From CASRAI

CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) is a CASRAI activity that brings together a diverse set of stakeholders with a common interest in better understanding and communicating the different kinds of contributor roles in research outputs. You can learn more about the objectives and drivers for this initiative in the background section. CRediT is an open standards activity aligned with the OpenStand principles to which CASRAI is a signatory.

Quick Links

In the News

The CRediT standard taxonomy is getting attention around the web:

Here are a number of key links in CRediT history:

Community of Interest

The CRediT community-of-interest gathers people with an interest in this topic or an affinity for the problems being solved by this activity. We encourage you to take a first step by joining this group. Participation is free and open to all and has the following benefits:

  • lend your vote and voice to supporting an open, sustainable and transparent solution to a shared problem,
  • receive regular updates on CRediT-related activities, implementations and news,
  • receive regular progress reports from any Working Groups tasked with revisions to the taxonomy,
  • participate in the review of any new draft revisions produced by Working Groups,
  • participate in conversations on various CRediT-related sub-topics.

Working Groups

The CRediT activity has convened one WG to-date, the original WG that produced v1 of the standard taxonomy in the Autumn of 2014. The members (and their affiliation at the time) of this WG were:

  • Liz Allen, Wellcome Trust (Co-Chair)
  • Amy Brand, Digital Science (Co-Chair)
  • Jo Scott, Wellcome Trust
  • Micah Altman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Daniel Katz, National Science Foundation
  • Melissa Haendel, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Jon Corson-Rikert, Cornell University
  • Wally Schaffer, National Institute of Health
  • Helen Atkins, Public Library of Science
  • Monica Bradford, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Nettie Lagace, National Information Standards Organization
  • Emilie Marcus, CellPress
  • David Baker, CASRAI

A Working Group (WG) can be convened by a Program Committee (PC) when there is a critical mass of input and interest in a revision to the standard.

Implementations

The following organizations and initiatives have implemented or are implementing CRediT.

GigaScience

GigaScience launches project based on CRediT:

Cell Press

Cell Press began recommending CRediT to its authors in May 2015 and has published more than 350 papers that use the CRediT taxonomy. The current rate of uptake is around 15% to 17% of research papers, and feedback has been positive. For more details, please contact Gabriel Peter Harp [gharp at cell.com].

Aries Systems

Aries systems has implemented credit in their EM 13.0. For more info, please contact Alison O’Connell [aoconnell at ariessys.com].

EM’s initial implementation of the new standard allows:

  • The ability to attribute one or more ‘Contributor Roles’ to each Author of a submission
  • The ability to identify the degree to which a particular contributor was involved, i.e. one of “Lead”, “Supporting”, “Equal”
  • The ability to configure the collection of Contributor Roles per Article Type, as either optional or required.

Related Activities

Projects

Submitted Papers

Historical Background

CRediT builds on the work of the Wellcome-Harvard contributorship project by extending community participation in the initiative, to include a wider range of publishers, researchers, funding agencies, and academic administrators.

Bibliographic conventions for representation of authorship lag behind the semantic capabilities of the web and tend to obfuscate the contributions of those involved in collaborative research and writing endeavors. There is growing interest among researchers, funding agencies, academic institutions, editors, and publishers in increasing both the transparency and accessibility of research contributions. Many publishers now require contribution disclosures upon article submission – some in structured form, some in free-text form – at the same time that funders are developing more scientifically rigorous ways to track the outputs and impact of their research investments.

In May of 2012 the Wellcome Trust and Harvard University co-hosted a workshop to bring together members of the academic, publishing, and funder communities interested in exploring alternative contributorship and attribution models.

Following the workshop (see workshop report), and working initially with a group of mainly biomedical journal editors (and members of the ICMJE ( International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) ) a pilot project was established to develop a controlled vocabulary of contributor roles (taxonomy) that could be used to describe the typical ‘contributions’ to scholarly published output for biomedical and science more broadly.

The draft taxonomy (developed during the pilot project) was tested with a sample of recent corresponding authors publishing across science and was relatively well received. The outcomes of the pilot test are described in Nature commentary (April 2014).

The benefits that greater transparency, clarity and accessibility to the specific contributions to scholarly output are perceived by those stakeholders involved in the pilot project to be broad ranging. Going forward with Project CRediT we hope to further explore how and whether there can be convergence around the creation of contributorship and attribution models and technologies (for science in the first instance) that have the potential to:

  • Facilitate authorship/contributorship disclosure processes and policies
  • Identify good practices for tracking contributions to the components of scholarly published output
  • Minimize authorship disputes
  • Enable appropriate recognition for the different contributions in multi-authored works – across all aspects of the research being reported (including data curation, statistical analysis, etc.)
  • Support identification of peer reviewers and experts
  • Support grant making by enabling funders to more easily identify those responsible for specific research products, developments or breakthroughs
  • Improve automated tracking of funding outcomes and impact
  • Support new forms of social and research networking
  • Further developments in data management and nano-publication
  • Inform the “science of science”, e.g. studies of productivity over a career trajectory
  • Enable new metrics of credit and attribution

The Subject Matter Experts Working Group (SME-WG) on Project CRediT are now keen to extend community participation in this initiative, and are keen to hear views from across the scientific community on the taxonomy and potential models of implementation.