Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Author misrepresentation of institutional affiliations: protocol for an exploratory case study
  1. Vivienne C Bachelet,
  2. Francisco A Uribe,
  3. Ruben A Díaz,
  4. Alonso F Vergara,
  5. Fabiana Bravo-Córdova,
  6. Víctor A Carrasco,
  7. Francisca J Lizana,
  8. Nicolás Meza-Ducaud,
  9. María S Navarrete
  1. Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vivienne C Bachelet; vivienne.bachelet{at}


Introduction University ranking systems and the publish-or-perish dictum, among other factors, are driving universities and researchers around the world to increase their research productivity. Authors frequently report multiple affiliations in published articles. It is not known if the reported institutional affiliations are real affiliations, which is when the universities have contributed substantially to the research conducted and to the published manuscript. This study aims to establish whether there is an empirical basis for author affiliation misrepresentation in authors with multiple institutional affiliations.

Methods and analysis This individual secondary data exploratory analysis on Scopus-indexed articles for 2016 will search all authors who report multiple institutional affiliations in which at least one of the affiliations is to a Chilean university. We will consider that misrepresentation of an affiliation is more likely when it is not possible to verify objectively a link between the author and the mentioned institution through institutional websites. If we cannot corroborate the author affiliation, we will consider this a finding of potential misrepresentation of the affiliation. We will summarise results with descriptive statistics.

Ethics and dissemination The study protocol was approved by the institutional ethics committee of Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Resolution No. 261, and dated January 15, 2018. Results will be submitted to the World Conference on Research Integrity, among other meetings on publication ethics and research integrity, and will be published in scientific, peer-reviewed journals.

  • publication ethics
  • research integrity
  • multiple affiliations
  • journalology

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from


  • Contributors Study idea (VCB); conceptualisation (VCB, FAU, RAD, AFV, MSN, FBC, VAC, FJL, NMD); methodology (VCB, FAU, RAD, AFV, MSN); original draft preparation (VCB, FAU); review and editing (VCB, FAU, RAD, AFV, MSN, FBC, VAC, FJL, NMD); supervision (VCB, FAU); project administration (VCB).

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests All authors are affiliated to a state university and this might be construed as a potential bias regarding the research protocol reported. The lead author (VCB) is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics council.

  • Ethics approval The institutional ethics committee of Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Resolution No. 261, dated 15 January 2018, approved the study protocol.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.