The policy implications of a 1996 national nursing survey on the allocation of publication credit form of this paper. An earlier article (Butler & Ginn, 1997) describes and analyzes the outcome of the survey; the purpose here is to draw on that analysis, and on the relevant literature, to propose a starting place for discussion within the specialty of oncology and the nursing profession regarding assignment of credit for various contributions to collaborative scholarly work. After identifying the growing need for such a discussion and briefly highlighting the findings of the survey, the paper goes on to examine unacceptable practices in scholarly work and identify issues which should be resolved before collaborative work is undertaken. The final portion of the paper makes tentative suggestions as to principles and guidelines which might be applied to avoid disputes about the value of different contributions to a collaborative project. It is emphasized that the intention is not to advocate acceptance of the guidelines suggested here, but to create sufficient interest so that an approach to allocation of publication credit may be developed which will be consistent and relevant to the needs of the nursing profession.