The CRediT taxonomy describes 14 roles that represent the parts typically played by contributors to a scholarly output. The information on this page will help you understand and use it to full effect.
CRediT originated in 2012 at a workshop led by Harvard University and the Wellcome Trust. The workshop proposed a taxonomy that was then formalised and described first in Nature commentary and later in Learned Publishing. CRediT then partnered with the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration (CASRAI) – which publishes standard guidelines to reduce the time researchers spend on administration – to review and refine the taxonomy.
CRediT is becoming more prominent and occurring more often in journals from a variety of publishers. Over 30 Publishers including Elsevier, PLOS, BMJ, Wiley and Springer have added the option for their journals to use CRediT. Some funders, including the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, already use CRediT in their repositories.
What are the CRediT roles?
The 14 CRediT roles, developed mainly with science disciplines in mind, allow all members of a team to be credited with their respective part in each output. This is especially important for papers with a number of co-authors, and for PhD students and Early Career Researchers publishing their first papers.
Individual authors can be assigned to multiple roles, and not all roles apply to every paper.
|Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims.|
|Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later re-use.|
|Formal Analysis||Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data.|
|Funding acquisition||Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.|
|Investigation||Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.|
|Methodology||Development or design of methodology; creation of models.|
|Project administration||Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.|
|Resources||Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.|
|Software||Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.|
|Supervision||Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.|
|Validation||Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.|
|Visualization||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.|
|Writing – original draft||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).|
|Writing – review & editing||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages.|
Advocates of CRediT emphasise that it increases opportunities for recognising all contributions to research, from funding acquisition, to data processing, to writing and editing the paper itself. It is commonly linked to both ORCiD for accurate attribution, and responsible metrics, allowing more insight into the real roles that contributors play to produce each research output.
The future of CRediT
CASRAI is working towards formal standardisation of the CRediT taxonomy via partnership with NISO, the National Information Standards Organization. NISO has launched its work to formalise CRediT as an ANSI/NISO standard.
Once this process is complete, a committee will be set up to provide a forum for community feedback, to build on the science-focused standard and consider how CRediT can be further developed and expanded to support contributions in a wider range of subject areas outside of the sciences, embracing roles in Humanities and Social Science disciplines.