Veterinary pathologists are key contributors to multidisciplinary biomedical research. However, they are occasionally excluded from authorship in published articles despite their substantial intellectual and data contributions. To better understand the potential origins and implications of this practice, we identified and analyzed 29 scientific publications where the contributing pathologist was excluded as an author. The amount of pathologist-generated data contributions were similar to the calculated average contributions for authors, suggesting that the amount of data contributed by the pathologist was not a valid factor for their exclusion from authorship. We then studied publications with pathologist-generated contributions to compare the effects of inclusion or exclusion of the pathologist as an author. Exclusion of the pathologist from authorship was associated with significantly lower markers of rigor and reproducibility compared to articles in which the pathologist was included as author. Although this study did not find justification for the exclusion of pathologists from authorship, potential consequences of their exclusion on data quality were readily detectable.
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