Author contributions audit

As part of our ongoing discussion about the accountability of authors and co-authors (comments are still very welcome), I decided to take a snapshot look at the popularity of Author Contributions statements in Nature. We strongly encourage authors to make these statments, specifying the ways in which the authors contributed to the paper, but we do not make it mandatory. Should that change? Part of the answer to that question lies in how useful authors find the idea. So it is of interest to note that in the past three or four issues of Nature, about half of the Articles and Letters (primary research) carried contributions statements. Here are some examples, all from the same issue of Nature (1 November 2007): 


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