Consumer Network
Consumer & communication strategies

Locate some examples of peer-reviewed articles co-authored by a patient using a pseudonym

Skills: Consumer Input
How to involve the public as co-authors

Academic publication is enriched by contributions from patients who bring their lived experience to the task of authoring or co-authoring. Some public co-authors wish to remain anonymous, as their story is sensitive or perhaps carries stigma. As long as they can be contacted via the corresponding author, it should be OK for them to use an incomplete name, initials or a pseudonym to protect their privacy. In this way, the publication meets expectations of integrity and transparency, while the patient author retains the degree of privacy they want.

There is an adjacent practice by which individual identities are submerged in a group, and the 'co-author' is shown as the 'Experts by Experience Group' or similar. I believe that the principles are the same, but would particularly like to locate examples of individuals using an incomplete name, initials or pseudonym.

I think that the idea is sound, but it would be helped by finding a number of articles that have been published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals which include patient co-authors using a pseudonym or incomplete appellation. Then, armed with these examples, we can seek approval for the practice from individual journal editor's guidelines for authors, and from editors groups, such as the ICJME.

So please can you help me find examples? The results will be added to the free guidance document called 'How to involve the public as co-authors' which is available at and is constantly updated as new information comes to light.

In summary, this is a search for people who are recognised as full authors at the start of the paper, not those who appear in the acknowledgements at the foot of the publication. They are consumers who are using initials, partial names or pseudonyms, so their identity is never revealed anywhere in the paper. They are recognised as individual authors rather than subsumed into a group. They can be contacted via the corresponding author.

Ideal Applicant

A patient or consumer who has co-authored a article for a peer-reviewed journal or anyone familiar with looking at online publication indexes. This is an online activity, I imagine, to be carried out in convenient moments with no deadline (the field above asked for a completion date, so I put in 31 December as a conversation starter!

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