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Authorship Dispute Resolution Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To establish the process and responsibilities for the resolution of disputes about authorship involving Research Activities and Research Outputs with respect to University Research Workers.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all disputes about authorship involving Research Activities and Research Outputs with respect to University Research Workers and should be read in conjunction with the Authorship Policy and the Authorship Procedure.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure establishes the process and responsibilities for the resolution of disputes about authorship involving University Research Workers.

4 Procedures

4.1 Informal resolution

All parties involved in a dispute about authorship are encouraged to attempt to resolve the dispute informally in the first instance.

The University recognises that disputes can be avoided through applying the University's Authorship Policy and Authorship Procedure and strongly encourages any persons with an authorship dispute to familiarise themselves with the Authorship Policy and the Authorship Procedure.

Resolution of authorship disputes can be difficult, particularly for more junior researchers and Students. Persons involved in an authorship dispute are encouraged to seek advice from a research integrity advisor prior to making a dispute notification. Student researchers are also encouraged to seek advice from Student advocates. Additional information regarding authorship dispute resolution is available from the University's Office of Research.

If there is a change in authorship resulting from informal resolution, this change should be agreed upon by all authors and recorded. This record will be kept by the corresponding author and a copy provided to the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics).

If the dispute is unable to be resolved informally, or if a person does not feel comfortable attempting informal resolution, a person may progress to notification of a dispute.

4.2 Notification of a dispute

Notification of any authorship dispute is to be made in writing to the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics).

Notification of the dispute should include as much information as possible, including, but not limited to:

  • the parties involved;
  • the reason for the dispute;
  • a copy of the authorship agreement or any informal written documentation about authorship such as email correspondence;
  • copies of any key documentation to show how each of the authors may have made a significant intellectual contribution to the Research Output;
  • a list of all those believed to be valid authors, and why;
  • a list of those believed to have contributed to the Research Output and who should be acknowledged (without being an author), and why;
  • a basic timeline of events leading to the dispute;
  • contact details for all parties involved (if known);
  • the outcome sought and the reason why;
  • details of any attempt at informal resolution; and
  • any other relevant documentation.

4.3 Disputes involving parties external to the University

If the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) determines that there is a dispute involving parties external to the University which requires resolution, the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will attempt to resolve the dispute in accordance with this procedure and any relevant procedure or process for any institution to which the other party may belong. This will normally involve communication with other relevant institutions.

4.4 Frivolous and vexatious dispute notifications

Should a person lodge a notification of dispute that is either frivolous or vexatious in nature, that person may be subject to investigation and disciplinary action in accordance with the University's policies on misconduct including the Research Code of Conduct Policy and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

4.5 Basis of the resolution process

The resolution of the authorship disputes will be based on evidence of author contribution as per the University's Authorship Policy.

4.6 Initial assessment

Upon receipt of a dispute notification the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will, on the basis of the information provided in the dispute notification, conduct an initial assessment and consider whether the information provided warrants dispute resolution.

The notification of the dispute and the outcome of the initial assessment will be recorded by the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics).

At the conclusion of the initial assessment, the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will determine to:

  • dismiss the dispute; or
  • initiate dialogue between the parties involved in order to resolve the dispute.

If the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) determines to dismiss the dispute, written notification will be provided to the person who lodged the dispute setting out the reason for the Decision. The Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will file the records relating to the matter in accordance with the University's Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure and close the dispute.

Within 10 University Business Days of dismissing the dispute the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will provide Notice to the person/s about whom the authorship dispute was lodged advising that the matter has been successfully resolved and no further action is required.

If the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) determines that there is a matter which warrants resolution, the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will attempt to resolve the dispute in accordance with Sections 4.7-4.9 of this procedure.

4.7 Notification of attempt to resolve dispute

The Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will provide Notice of the dispute to all parties involved and request that all parties participate in direct dialogue.

The Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics), in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will determine an appropriate senior academic to facilitate resolution of the dispute by direct dialogue.

The senior academic must be completely independent of the dispute and have no actual or perceived conflicts of interest. The senior academic and the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics), is responsible for notifying the Director, Office of Research of any conflicts of interest in accordance with University policy.

The parties involved will have 10 University Business Days from receipt of the Notice to respond to the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) in writing as to whether they will participate in direct dialogue. Should a person decline to participate in direct discussions, a Decision about authorship will be made by the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) on the basis of the information available.

4.8 Direct dialogue

The Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will attempt to resolve the dispute by using direct dialogue between the parties.

If the dispute is still not resolved after a reasonable timeframe, the matter will be referred back to the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) by the senior academic for resolution by determination.

4.9 Resolution by determination

If a dispute has not been able to be resolved after direct dialogue facilitated by a senior academic, the matter will be referred back to the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) for consideration within 10 University Business Days of reaching this determination.

The senior academic will provide the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) with all records of discussions, detail as to why resolution by direct dialogue was not successful and a recommendation as to how the authorship dispute is best resolved.

This information, together with any other relevant information to the dispute will be provided by the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) for Decision.

The Decision made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) about authorship is final, not subject to internal University Appeal and is to be implemented with immediate effect.

The Decision of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) about authorship will be recorded on the Authorship Allocation Form and provided to the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) for record keeping.

4.10 Notification of determination

The Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) will provide Notice to the parties involved of the Decision of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and provide all parties with a new copy of the Authorship Allocation Form.

4.11 Disputes which involve Complaints about research conduct

Any dispute which also involves a Complaint about research conduct will be simultaneously referred to the Manager (Research Integrity and Ethics) for progression in accordance with the Research Conduct Complaint Procedure.

4.12 Record keeping

All records about authorship disputes will be managed in accordance with the University's Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure.

4.13 Confidentiality

Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible in resolving authorship disputes.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

24/7/2015

Effective Date

24/7/2015

Review Date

24/7/2018

Relevant Legislation

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Electronic Transactions Act 1999

Related Policies

Authorship Policy

Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure

Research Code of Conduct Policy

Related Procedures

Authorship Procedure

Research Conduct Complaint Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Authorship Allocation Form (under development)

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....moreAn expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Notice

A Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to...moreA Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic.A Notice may be:given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; orsent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; orsent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to a Student during the period of Enrolment until the completion of their program; orsent by electronic communication to the email address provided to the University by an addressee not enrolled at the University.A Notice is taken to be received if:given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided to the University by the addressee; orsent by registered or pre-paid mail - three University Business Days after the date of posting; orsent by electronic communication - at the time that would be the time of receipt under the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 or its succeeding legislation.A Notice that would be deemed to have been received out of business hours or on a non-University Business Day will instead be deemed received on the next University Business Day.

Research Activities

Refers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes....moreRefers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.

Research Output

A publication, report or creative output, including but not limited to: journal articles, conference contributions, chapters, reports, books, performances, artefacts, patents/trademarks, exhibitions, scholarly edition, software, compositions, internet publications, design, presentations, grant applications, etc....moreA publication, report or creative output, including but not limited to: journal articles, conference contributions, chapters, reports, books, performances, artefacts, patents/trademarks, exhibitions, scholarly edition, software, compositions, internet publications, design, presentations, grant applications, etc.

Research Worker

Any person/s involved in Research Activities at, or on behalf of the University. This includes, but is not limited to Employees, Students, visiting scholars, research partners, research affiliates, holders of Honorary or Adjunct positions and research ethics committee members....moreAny person/s involved in Research Activities at, or on behalf of the University. This includes, but is not limited to Employees, Students, visiting scholars, research partners, research affiliates, holders of Honorary or Adjunct positions and research ethics committee members.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

University Business Days

The days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or se...moreThe days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or several campuses in accordance with a direction of the Crisis Management Team.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Keywords

Record No

14/1881PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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