Authorship Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To establish the process by which Authorship managed at the University.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all Research Workers.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure supports the University's Research Code of Conduct Policy and contains specific guidance to assist Research Workers to appropriately attribute Authorship, to identify responsibilities and to manage disputes.

The University recognises Authorship in the following circumstances:

  • a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a Research Output; and/or
  • significant contributions to documents related to Research, such as Research proposals, grant applications, reports for funding agencies, tenders, patents and patent applications, and web-based publications and applications (e.g. professional blogs).

This procedure closely aligns with Authorship: A Guide to supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. It outlines the responsibilities and processes related to Authorship at the University. Specifically, it aligns with the following principles outlined in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research:

  • Principle 4, 'Fairness in the treatment of others', which requires researchers to 'give credit, including authorship where appropriate, to those who have contributed to the Research.'
  • Principle 6, 'Recognition of the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to be engaged in Research that affects or is of particular significance to them', which requires researchers to credit the contributions of Indigenous people and knowledge.

4 Procedures

4.1 Authorship agreements

Research Workers should discuss Authorship at the early stages of Research and continue that discussion through the development of a Research project. It should be noted that Authorship may evolve and change, especially as new people may be brought into a collaboration to provide additional information and discipline expertise.

It is good practice to have an Authorship agreement in place that can be updated throughout the development of the paper and finalised prior to submission. Authors must approve the Research Output before its submission for publication and, in doing so, agree to be accountable for it. Authors must also approve the final version before publication.

It is recommended that the University's Authorship Agreement form is used to record Authorship contributions and agreement. This ensures that there is appropriate:

  • identification of those who will be recognised as the authors of the Research Output;
  • a description of the contribution that each author has made (or will make) to the Research Output;
  • an indication of the order in which the authors appear. The agreed order of authors should be consistent with any applicable disciplinary norms and publication requirements; and
  • identification of at least one corresponding author.

A record of agreement may also be captured through email or letters. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to maintain records of the Authorship agreement. All authors are also encouraged to keep records for their own reference, particularly when co-authors are from different institutions.

4.2 Corresponding author

Where there is more than one author of a Research Output, at least one co-author, by agreement amongst the authors, should be nominated as the corresponding author. The corresponding author is responsible for communication between the publishers and managing communication between the co-authors. The corresponding author has primary responsibility for ensuring that all contributors to the Research Output are properly recognised.

4.3 Appropriate and fair attribution of Authorship

All authors are responsible for raising concerns around the omission of any individuals who have had a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution. A Research Worker who qualifies as an author must not be included or excluded without their written agreement, and a record of this agreement must be kept.

4.4 Accountability

All authors are collectively responsible for the whole Research Output. An individual author is directly responsible for the accuracy of their contribution and should have confidence in the contributions of their fellow authors.

Responsibilities may vary depending on extent and type of the contribution by each author. If an author doesn't agree to be accountable for their contribution, their contribution should not be included in the Research Output.

All authors are responsible for:

  • their direct contribution to the Research Output;
  • taking reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the contributions of all other co-authors;
  • raising any concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the Research before the Research is submitted or published; and
  • responding to any concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the Research.

In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, the corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that agreement has been reached and recorded appropriately prior to submitting the Research Output for publication.

Allegations of Plagiarism (including author exclusion) will be resolved in accordance with the Research Code of Conduct: Management of Potential Breaches Procedure.

4.5 Contributions other than Authorship

It may be appropriate to acknowledge contributions to the Research that do not meet the criteria of Authorship (for example, provision of technical support). It is expected that when acknowledgements are included, authors obtain the permission of named contributors prior to inclusion.

Research Workers intending to publish Indigenous knowledge obtained through sources including unpublished manuscripts, or audio or video recordings should refer to the National Health and Medical Research Council Ethical guidelines for Research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

4.6 Authorship disputes

4.6.1 Informal Resolution

Where a dispute arises between authors, all parties are encouraged to first attempt to resolve the matter informally. Records of Authorship disputes and the agreed resolution should be kept by the authors involved. It is noted that this informal resolution process may not be possible in situations where:

  • power imbalances exist between authors;
  • there are breakdowns in communication; and/or
  • there is a failure to accept accountability for contribution/s.

Research Workers may also seek advice from a University Research Integrity Advisor. Research Integrity Advisors play an important role in building the culture of Research integrity and ethics at the University. They provide initial advice to Research Workers who may be unsure about responsible Research conduct. Student researchers are also encouraged to seek advice from Student advocates.

4.6.2 Mediation

If informal resolution is not possible or unsuccessful in resolving the matter, the Research Worker/s involved should consult a senior academic who must be completely independent of the dispute and have no actual or perceived Conflicts of Interest. Suggested examples of appropriate senior academics include the Associate Dean (Research), Institute Executive Director or the Associate Dean (Graduate Research School).

The senior academic shall attempt to resolve the dispute by mediation. Any agreement reached in mediation must be recorded in writing. If mediation fails, or if the process is taking a significant amount of time (i.e. more than 12 weeks) to resolve, the dispute should be referred in writing to the Manager, Research Ethics and Integrity.

4.6.3 Referral

When a matter is referred to the Manager, Research Integrity and Ethics by either the senior academic or one or more of the author/s, it should include the following details:

  • the parties involved and contact details;
  • 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;
  • the outcome sought and the reason why;
  • details of any attempt at informal resolution; and
  • any other relevant documentation

Following receipt of the matter, the Manager, Research Integrity and Ethics will review details received. Following review, the Manager, Research Integrity and Ethics may determine that the Authorship dispute should be dealt with in accordance with the Research Code of Conduct: Management of Potential Breaches Procedure and refer it accordingly.

If it is not referred, the Manager, Research Integrity and Ethics will arrange a meeting with all parties to attempt to clarify the concerns. At this point the matter may be able to be resolved. If the matter is not resolved, an initial assessment will be prepared by the Manager, Research Integrity and Ethics for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) to make a determination.

4.6.4 Final review and outcome

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will review the initial assessment and may choose to meet with all parties involved prior to making a determination. In reviewing the matter, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) may determine that an Authorship dispute should be dealt with in accordance with the Research Code of Conduct: Management of Potential Breaches Procedure.

The Decision made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) is final and will be communicated in writing to all parties involved.

Disputes involving authors from other institutions are to be handled by the institution of the corresponding author. Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible in resolving Authorship disputes.

4.6.5 Potential Breaches

The Research Code of Conduct: Management of Potential Breaches Procedure outlines the process for reviewing potential breaches of the University's Research Code of Conduct Policy and associated procedures. Examples of a Breach in Research related to the Authorship can be found in more detail in the Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

5 References

Australian Government. (2019). Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government, Retrieved from: https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-code-responsible-conduct-research-2018

Australian Government. (2018). Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Canberra, ACT: Australian Government, Retrieved from: https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-code-responsible-conduct-research-2018

6 Schedules

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

7 Procedure Information

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Policy Suite

Research Code of Conduct Policy

Subordinate Schedules

Approved Date

18/2/2020

Effective Date

18/2/2020

Review Date

18/2/2023

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure

Records and Information Management Policy

Related Procedures

Research Code of Conduct: Management of Potential Breaches Procedure

Research Data and Primary Materials Management Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

University Authorship Agreement Form

University Statement on Peer Review

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Plagiarism

An attempt to obtain undeserved advantage by taking and using any person's ideas and/or manner of expressing them in order to pass them off as one's own original work by failing to give appropriate acknowledgement. This includes material from any source - published and unpublished works - as well as one's own work used for another purpose (i.e. Assessment Item, publication etc.)....moreAn attempt to obtain undeserved advantage by taking and using any person's ideas and/or manner of expressing them in order to pass them off as one's own original work by failing to give appropriate acknowledgement. This includes material from any source - published and unpublished works - as well as one's own work used for another purpose (i.e. Assessment Item, publication etc.).

Research

Research is the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative....moreResearch is the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

Research Output

An output is an outcome of research and can take many forms. Research Outputs must meet the definition of Research. Some examples of outputs of research include: books—authored research chapters in research books—authored research journal articles—refereed, scholarly journal conference publications—full paper refereed. original creative works live performance of creativ...moreAn output is an outcome of research and can take many forms. Research Outputs must meet the definition of Research. Some examples of outputs of research include: books—authored research chapters in research books—authored research journal articles—refereed, scholarly journal conference publications—full paper refereed. original creative works live performance of creative works recorded/rendered creative works curated or produced substantial public exhibitions and events research reports for an external body portfolio.

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 is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled....moreA person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled.

University

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

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Authorship

Authorship should be an honest reflection of the contribution to Research; assigned fairly, and consistently with established disciplinary practice; and communicated clearly and transparently between contributors to the Research.

An author must satisfy at least one, preferably two or more of the following to be included on a Research Output:

  • Conception and design of the project or Research Output.
  • Acquisition of Research data where the acquisition has required significant intellectual judgement, planning, design, or input.
  • Contribution of knowledge, where justified, including Indigenous knowledge.
  • Analysis or interpretation of Research data.
  • Drafting significant parts of the Research Output or critically revising it so as to contribute to its interpretation.

Authorship must not be attributed when an individual has not made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a Research output. It should not be attributed solely on the basis of:

  • The provision of funding, data, materials, infrastructure or access to equipment.
  • The provision of routine technical support, technical advice or technical assistance.
  • The position or profession of an individual (commonly referred to as 'gift authorship').
  • Whether the contribution was paid for or voluntary.
  • The status of an individual who has not made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution being such that it would elevate the esteem of the Research (commonly referred to as 'guest authorship').

If appropriate, recognition of these other types of contributions by Research Workers, funding bodies and/or organisations may be included on the Research Output as an acknowledgement (but not as authorship).

Keywords

Record No

14/2211PL

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