Posted on 20 May 2023

ICMJE Recommendations Update (May 2023)

The ICMJE updated the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.
New updates include a revision of: authorship criteria (Section II.A); responsibilities of peer reviewers (Section II.C.3); what is considered duplicate publication (Section III.D.2); reporting guidelines related to sex and gender (Section IV.A.2); guidance on how work conducted with the assistance of artificial intelligence(AI) technology should be acknowledged (Sections II.A, II.C.3, III.D.2, IV.A.3.g); and other revisions to assure more inclusive language through-out.
To assist in identifying where changes have been made, an annotated PDF is available. The current, official PDF of the ICMJE Recommendations may be downloaded at Annotated versions of earlier updated Recommendations are available in the announcement of the respective updates in ICMJE | News & Editorials.
In the section on Who is an Author (Section II.A.2), the ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on 4 criteria. In this update, the ICMJE revised criterion #2 from “Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content” to “Drafting the work or reviewing it critically for important intellectual content”.

The ICMJE made this change because some authors may interpret “revising” to indicate the requirement to make changes to earlier versions of the manuscript (in order to qualify for authorship) even if authors agree with the content.

The ICMJE believes this new change more accurately captures the original intent of the criterion -- which is that all authors must at a minimum review the manuscript critically for important intellectual content AND have the opportunity to make changes if warranted.

In addition, ICMJE added a new section (II.A.4) and revised other sections (II.C.3, III.D.2, IV.A.3.g) to provide guidance on how work conducted with the assistance of AI technology (including ChatGPT) should and should not be acknowledged.