PLOS: Ten simple rules for collaboratively writing a multi-authored paper

4 December, 2018

Dear Neil,

One of the advantages of the HIFA forum is that it allows researchers from around the world to contact one another and perhaps publish joint papers. This PloS paper shares 10 steps that should make the process of collaborative authorship easier. [*see note below]

Perhaps there are also tips for south-south and north-south collaborations that forum members may want to share?


HIFA profile: Julie N Reza is a UK-based specialist in communications for biosciences, global health & international development ( She predominantly works with NGOs and not-for-profit organisations. Previously she was the senior science editor at TDR, based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; prior to this she worked at the Wellcome Trust, UK, leading educational projects on international health topics including trypanosomiasis and trachoma. She has a PhD in immunology and a specialist degree in science communication. She also has several years research and postgraduate teaching experience. She is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and HIFA Social Media Working Group. naimareza AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Thanks Julie. For the benefit of those who may not have immediate web access, here are the 10 rules:

Rule 1: Build your writing team wisely

Rule 2: If you take the lead, provide leadership

Rule 3: Create a data management plan

Rule 4: Jointly decide on authorship guidelines

Rule 5: Decide on a writing strategy

Rule 6: Choose digital tools to suit your needs

Rule 7: Set clear timelines and adhere to them

Rule 8: Be transparent throughout the process

Rule 9: Cultivate equity, diversity, and inclusion

Rule 10: Consider the ethical implications of your coauthorship]