ManyBabies aim for an inclusive authorship policy, both to recognize contributions of many different types and to incentivize researchers (especially early career researchers and students) to participate. Our philosophy underlying this model is that of recognizing any participating researchers who take intellectual ownership of the project within their own labs in addition to those who have made contributions to the project as a whole. MB strongly encourage careful tracking and documentation of each contribution, thus allowing its’ smooth classification under transparent taxonomies (e.g., CRediT; Brand et al., 2015). Each project lead team define, adhering to MB core principles, specific authorship guidelines for their projects. For instance, MB1 defined that an author would be someone who made a substantive contribution in one of the following ways:

  1. Planning and writing. Significant contribution to one or more of the following tasks: attending planning meetings, planning analyses. These intellectual contributions will typically be sustained across some period of time (e.g., not just a single comment or edit), and will typically be accompanied by contributing edits/text to the paper. This criterion is similar to standard “sustained intellectual contribution” standards for authorship in other projects although less stringent in terms of quantity of contribution, since in ManyBabies there will be many more contributors to many smaller aspects of this project.

  2. Creating analyses, materials, and methods. Our standard for these will follow the standard above. Contributors that expend significant effort in the creation of materials, analyses, or methodological tools that are specifically for our project (rather than general methodological development) and engage in a sustained relationship with the project will be authors.

  3. Data collection. Being part of a successful contribution of data to the project. We expect that successful data collection will often require author-level work by both PIs and more junior lab members (e.g., a student or lab manager). We ask PIs to consider ways to deepen junior participants’ involvement so that their contribution to the intellectual enterprise rises to the level that is typically expected for authorship on a paper, e.g., by reading papers on the topic (especially the protocol paper and the ManyBabies theory paper), giving presentations on the project to lab groups, etc. We also encourage more junior participants to be involved in the writing and analysis process towards the end of the project. Our general standard will be that one PI and one student author will be involved per participating laboratory, though exceptions to this policy can be made in special cases (examples so far include multiple-PI labs and unexpected staffing changes). Requests for exceptions should be directed to project leads - don’t hesitate to ask.

NOTE. We encourage everyone who is interested in the project to get involved. Contributing to data collection or being part of a laboratory is not a prerequisite. The general standard of one PI and one student author per laboratory does not apply for contributions on planning, writing, analyses, materials, and methods (i.e., all tasks, except data collection), and is not intended to discourage in any way more than two people from a given lab getting involved in a particular ManyBabies project, as long as each person is demonstrably making a unique and substantive contribution.

Policies on Derived Projects and Presentations

While ManyBabies studies are by definition cross-lab projects, an individual lab may wish to use ManyBabies data for secondary analyses, honors projects, or other purposes. Here we articulate philosophical considerations and concrete policies for ensuring that such projects maintain the open, collaborative spirit of ManyBabies.

Get involved and contribute

We encourage everyone who is interested in developmental research to get involved! Access to infants/infant lab is not a prerequisite. Join the team today!