One consequence of the Hwang stem cell fraud scandal has been that the journal Science is considering reforms that would require authors to list their specific contributions to the paper and to sign a statement that they agree with the conclusions of the paper. Somewhat unusually, Nick Wade at the New York Times has created a parody of what would result from this:
Extension of Human Lifespan to 969 Years Following Vector Insertion fo Bristlecone Pine Antioxidant Gene ComplexIt's an exaggeration, obviously (the do-nothings on the list are usually more towards the end), but not even so far from the truth as you might think - which is why I think the proposed reforms (already in place at Nature and JAMA) are a great idea. See also here.
Paul Kammerer,1 Charles Dawson,2 Jean-François Pipette,3 Trofim D. Lysenko4
1I supplied the midwife toad cells used in this experiment, on condition that my name was included as co-author.
2I was riding in the elevator with Dr. Lysenko one day and gave him an idea about spring wheat; he very graciously said he would add my name to his next paper.
3I performed all PCR reactions, gel analysis, bioinformatics, statistical analysis, collection of pine tree samples, and nuclear transfer procedures. I also suggested the original idea for the experiment, wrote the grant proposal and executed all experiments without the aid of a technician.
4As chief of the laboratory, I secured all the funds, hired all the personnel and credit for this publication.