Evolution and adoption of contributor role ontologies and taxonomies

Mohammad Hosseini*, Julien Colomb, Alex O. Holcombe, Barbara Kern, Nicole A. Vasilevsky, Kristi L. Holmes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Contributor Role Ontologies and Taxonomies (CROTs) are standard vocabularies to describe individual contributions to a scholarly project or research output. Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) is one of the most widely used CROTs, and has been adopted by numerous journals to describe author's contributions, and recently formalized as a ANSI/NISO standard. Despite these developments, there is still much work left to be done to improve how CROTs are used across different research domains, research output types, and scholarly workflows. In this paper, we describe how CROTs could be extended to include roles from various disciplines in an ethical and inclusive manner. We explore potential approaches to apply CROTs to diverse research objects and various disciplines; as well as envision their integration into various scholarly workflows, such as promotion and tenure in academic institutions. Lastly, we discuss potential mechanisms for wide adoption and use. While acknowledging that improving current systems of attribution is a slow and iterative process, we believe that engaging the community in the evolution of CROTs will ultimately enhance the ethical attribution of credit and responsibilities in scholarly publications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalLearned Publishing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • authorship
  • contributor roles
  • contributorship
  • ethical attribution
  • research integrity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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