CRediT – Contributor Roles Taxonomy

CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) is high-level taxonomy, including 14 roles, that can be used to represent the roles typically played by contributors to scientific scholarly output. The roles describe each contributor’s specific contribution to the scholarly output.

14 Contributor Roles

Conceptualization
Data curation
Formal Analysis
Funding acquisition
Investigation
Methodology
Project administration

Resources
Software
Supervision
Validation
Visualization
Writing – original draft
Writing – review & editing

Contributor Roles Defined
  • Conceptualization – Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims.
  • Data curation – Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later re-use.
  • Formal analysis – Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data.
  • Funding acquisition ​- Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.
  • Investigation – ​Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.
  • Methodology – Development or design of methodology; creation of models.
  • Project administration – Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.
  • Resources – Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.
  • Software – Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.
  • Supervision – Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.
  • Validation – Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.
  • Visualization – Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.
  • Writing – original draft – ​Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).
  • Writing – review & editing – Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages.
Background

CRediT grew from a practical realization that bibliographic conventions for describing and listing authors on scholarly outputs are increasingly outdated and fail to represent the range of contributions that researchers make to published output. Furthermore, there is growing interest among researchers, funding agencies, academic institutions, editors, and publishers in increasing both the transparency and accessibility of research contributions.

Most publishers require author and contribution disclosure statements 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 mid-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 a pilot project was established to develop a controlled vocabulary of contributor roles (taxonomy) that could be used to describe the typical range of ‘contributions’ to scholarly published output for biomedical and science more broadly. The aim was to develop a taxonomy that was both practical and easy to understand while minimizing the potential for misuse.

A draft taxonomy 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).

Benefits

Since 2014, the contributor taxonomy – otherwise known as CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) has been widely adopted across a range of publishers to improve accessibility and visibility of the range of contribution to published research outputs, bringing a number of important and practical benefits to the research ecosystem more broadly, including:

  • Helping to reduce the potential for author disputes.
  • Supporting adherence to authorship/contributorship processes and policies.
  • Enabling visibility and recognition of the different contributions of researchers, particularly in multi-authored works – across all aspects of the research being reported (including data curation, statistical analysis, etc.)
  • Support identification of peer reviewers and specific expertise.
  • ​Support grant making by enabling funders to more easily identify those responsible for specific research products, developments or breakthroughs.
  • Improving the ability to track the outputs and contributions of individual research specialists and grant recipients.
  • Easy identification of potential collaborators and opportunities for research networking.
  • Further developments in data management and nano-publication.
  • ​Inform ‘science of science’ (‘meta-research) to help enhance scientific efficacy and effectiveness.
  • ​Enable new indicators of research value, use and re-use, credit and attribution.
Adopters

This list is constantly evolving and will be frequently updated. To share information about a CRediT adoption, please email: [credit] at [casrai] dot [org]

​Publishers

  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • BMJ
  • British Psychological Society
  • Cell Press
  • Dartmouth Journal Services
  • De Gruyter Open
  • Duke University Press
  • eLife
  • Elsevier
  • Evidence Based Communications
  • F1000 Research
  • Geological Society of London
  • Health & Medical Publishing Group
  • International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
  • The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
  • KAMJE Press
  • Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • MA Healthcare
  • MIT Press
  • Oman Medical Specialty Board
  • Oxford University Press
  • Public Library of Science (Plos)
  • SAE International
  • ScholarOne
  • SLACK Incorporated
  • Springer
  • Springer Publishing Company
  • Virtus Interpress
  • Wiley VCH
  • Wolters Kluwer

Institutions

  • University of Glasgow

Integrators

  • Allen Press/ Peer Track
  • Aries Systems/ Editorial Manager
  • Clarivate Analytics/ ScholarOne
  • Coko Foundation/ PubSweet
  • River Valley/ ReView
  • eJournalPress
  • Rescognito
  • ​Worktribe

Publishing Outlets

  • Gates Open Research
  • HRB Open Research
  • Wellcome Open Research

How to Implement CRediT

For academics

Just begin allocating the terms appropriately to your contributors within research outputs. Advocate that your institution and any publications you’re submitting to acknowledge and adopt the taxonomy.

For Publishers

CRediT adoption can be achieved via a manual workflow outside of Submission and Peer Review systems, or through using a system with an existing CRediT integration.

The roles given in the above taxonomy include, but are not limited to, traditional authorship roles. The roles are not intended to define what constitutes authorship, but instead to capture all the work that allows scholarly publications to be produced.

Recommendations for applying the CRediT taxonomy are:

  • List all Contributions – All contributions should be listed, whether from those listed as authors or individuals named in acknowledgements;
  • Multiple Roles Possible – Individual contributors can be assigned multiple roles, and a given role can be assigned to multiple contributors;
  • Degree of Contribution Optional – Where multiple individuals serve in the same role, the degree of contribution can optionally be specified as ‘lead’, ‘equal’, or ‘supporting’;
  • Shared Responsibility – Corresponding authors should assume responsibility for role assignment, and all contributors should be given the opportunity to review and confirm assigned roles;
  • Make CRediT Machine Readable – CRediT tagged contributions should be coded in JATS xml v1.2

​The taxonomy has been refined by Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration (CASRAI) and National Information Standards Organization (NISO). It is in adoption by Cell Press, PLOS and many other publishers, and has been integrated into some submission and peer review systems including Aries’ Editorial Manager, and River Valley’s ReView. It will be integrated into Coko Foundation’s xPub.

Links of Interest

Resources

Articles & Publications

Meet the Chairs
Liz Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives, F1000 Research
Alison McGonagle-O’Connell, Founder, O’Connell Consulting.

Get Involved

We have been overwhelmed by the interest in CRediT to date and are working to support adoption and encourage practical usage. We are also working to ensure that CRediT is tied to ORCID and included in the Crossref metadata capture.

CRediT is currently managed as an informal standard at CASRAI and we are working towards formal standardisation of the taxonomy at NISO.

But please do get involved by joining the community CRediT Interest Group, spreading the word, and providing feedback!