Publication practices and journal access is a highly evolving area at the moment. Here are some of the topics, and highlights. This is far from exhaustive, so feel free to add to these in the forums.
Overall issues that may arise are covered by
The American Chemical Society's 5 episodes of Publishing Your Research 101.
HOW TO DETERMINE CONTRIBUTIONS:
In May 2012, there was an International Workshop on Contributorship and Authorship Attribution.
"There is growing interest among researchers, funding agencies, academic institutions, editors, and publishers in increasing the transparency of research contributions, and in more granular tracking of attribution and associated credit. Many publishers now require contribution disclosures upon article submission - some in structured form, some in free-text form - at the same time that funders are developing more scientifically rigorous ways to track the outputs and impact of their research investments.
Our objectives as a group will be to explore the pros and cons of alternative approaches, and to converge on a roadmap toward the creation of contributorship and attribution models and technologies ..."
GUIDELINES on PUBLICATIONS:
Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
also the details on The Editorial Policy and Practices of the Standard Reasearch Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences are interesting to read.
PNAS's editorial policies can be found here.
For example, Science has quite explicitly defined the guidelines both for authors and reviewers. Standards for reporting can be very explicit, such as in the open access journal BMC Biology.
In addition to reviewing manuscripts for publication, as scientists, we have an opportunity to review others' grants.
The NIH (USA) Grant application submission and review process is clarified with a series of videos on their website.
this page also includes Additional Resources for the Peer Review Process
The issues are discussed here "I Hate Your Paper" from The Scientist
We now have another model of peer review, which uses a "Peer Review Service" - by paying, the authors can have their manuscript reviewed in a shorter timeline.