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CRediT 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.


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realization that bibliographic conventions for describing and listing authors on scholarly outputs are increasingly outdated and fail to represent the range of contributions that researchers make to published output.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 ( 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 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). 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
1ConceptualizationIdeas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims.
2Data curationManagement 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.
3Formal analysisApplication of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyse or synthesize study data.
4Funding acquisitionAcquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.
5InvestigationConducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.
6MethodologyDevelopment or design of methodology; creation of models.
7Project administrationManagement and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.
8ResourcesProvision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.
9SoftwareProgramming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.
10SupervisionOversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.
11ValidationVerification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.
12VisualizationPreparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.
13Writing – original draftPreparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).
14Writing – review & editingPreparation, 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.

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:

  1. LIST ALL CONTRIBUTIONS - All contributions should be listed, whether from those listed as authors or individuals named in acknowledgements;
  2. MULTIPLE ROLES POSSIBLE - Individual contributors can be assigned multiple roles, and a given role can be assigned to multiple contributors;
  3. 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’;
  4. SHARED RESPONSIBILITY - Corresponding authors should assume responsibility for role assignment, and all contributors should be given the opportunity to review and confirm assigned roles;
  5. 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.

Who is Using CRediT?

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

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
BMJ Open Science
British Psychological Society
Cell Press
Dartmouth Journal Services
De Gruyter Open
Duke University Press
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
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
MA Healthcare
MIT Press
Oman Medical Specialty Board
Oxford University Press
Public Library of Science (Plos)
SAE International
SLACK Incorporated
Springer Publishing Company
Wiley VCH
Wolters Kluwer

University of Glasgow

Allen Press/ Peer Track
Aries Systems/ Editorial Manager
Coko Foundation/ xPub
River Valley/ ReView

Publishing Outlets
Gates Open Research
HRB Open Research
Wellcome Open Research

Program Chairs

Director of Strategic Initiatives, F1000 Research

Editoria Community Manager, Collaborative Knowledge Foundation

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!

Contact Us

For general inquires, feedback, or for implementation help please join the CRediT Interest Group and connect directly with the community. As CRediT is truly a community developed and maintained standard, feedback is critical to its usefulness.

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