Require author and default first author with user detail during the publishing workflow.
Today the authorship of a model can be tracked nicely in the author fields of a model, but the publishing process does not require an entry for authors, instead allows those to remain blank. Change the workflow of the publish process as follows:
1) require minimum 1 author entry
2) default the first author entry with details from the user doing the publishing
If these two changes go in together it should be minimally disruptive to the user experience - with the user as the sole author there is no extra work to be done.