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Research Authorship Guideline

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) Authorship of a research publication is an acknowledgement of the substantial contribution made by a researcher. It carries with it both recognition of work done and responsibility for the material contributed. Authorship must therefore be attributed with due regard for the appropriate conventions.

(2) This guideline supports the principles articulated in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (ACRCR) and the University's Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, and should be read in conjunction with these documents.

(3) The guideline details the criteria and protocols for acknowledging authorship and seeks to recognise the restrictions associated with commercial publication.

(4) The guideline also details pathways for resolving any conflict that may arise as a result of the attribution of authorship.
This guideline extends to web-based publications.

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Section 2 - Criteria for Authorship

(5) As detailed in the ACRCR, authorship must be based on substantial scholarly contribution in a combination of the following:

  1. conception and design of the research;
  2. determination, analysis and interpretation of research data; and
  3. drafting or revision of significant parts of the work so as to contribute to the interpretation.

(6) Research higher degree candidates may qualify for authorship and should be encouraged to participate in publication as an author.

(7) Examples of contributions that are not considered to meet the criteria for authorship are detailed in Clause 5.5 of the ACRCR.

(8) Contributions that do not meet the criteria for authorship may need to be acknowledged in line with discipline practice on a discretionary basis, and the basis for the exercise of the discretion must be clearly documented.

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Section 3 - Consent and Statement of Authorship

(9) A person who qualifies as an author can only be included or excluded as an author with their written permission, unless clause 15 applies.

(10) The researcher must also provide detail of their contribution, as relates to the criteria listed in clause 5.

(11) Permission may be indicated by email in cases where it is not practical to obtain signed notification of consent.

(12) Where research is published, the author appointed to record authorship and to manage communication about the work with the publisher (“executive author”) will be required to complete and facilitate the completion of a Statement of Authorship and Location of Data Form unless clause 13 applies. The executive author will also be responsible for ensuring that the completed Statement of Authorship and Location of Data Form is stored with the data underpinning a research publication.

(13) Where the publication process includes documentation that would duplicate the information provided on the Statement of Authorship and Location of Data Form, it will not be necessary to complete the form as well. In these circumstances the executive author will remain responsible for ensuring that such documentation is stored with the data underpinning a researchpublication.

(14) All notifications of consent must be retained by the executive author.

(15) If an author has not provided permission because they are deceased or, despite reasonable efforts, cannot be contacted, the publication can proceed, provided there is no basis to believe that this person would have objected.

(16) Where another acknowledgment of contribution is given in line with clause 8, permission must also be obtained from the contributor prior to publication.

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Section 4 - Agreement of Authorship

(17) Collaborating researchers must agree on their status as an author of any publication resulting from research at an early stage in the collaboration, and this should be reviewed prior to the commencement of writing any publication evolving from research.

(18) Where a work has multiple authors, an executive author should be determined prior to the preparation of a manuscript.

(19) The executive author should be determined by agreement with collaborating researchers and/or in line with discipline conventions.

(20) Where an author's position in an authorship list has significance, positioning in the list should be determined by agreement with collaborating researchers and with consideration of:

  1. Principles used to determine sequence (e.g. discipline standards)
  2. The contribution made or required by each author.
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Section 5 - Disputes about Authorship and Acknowledgment

(21) Where agreement on acknowledgement, attribution or ordering of authorship is not achieved, collaborating authors and other stakeholders must reconsider the principles and criteria, and take all reasonable steps to try to resolve the matter themselves or with assistance from the relevant Faculty Advisor in Research Integrity and/or Head of School.

(22) Where agreement cannot be achieved with guidance from the relevant Head of School the matter may be referred to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation for consideration of the principles, criteria and contributions of the researchers, as well as any other relevant facts of the matter in making a determination.

(23) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will receive and review any requests for an appeal of the Pro Vice-Chancellor's determination.

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Section 6 - Roles and Responsibilities

(24) Researchers must offer authorship to all those - including higher degree by research candidates - who meet the criteria set out in clause 5. Authorship should not be offered to those who do not meet that criteria - regardless of their role, or the extent of their technical or other contribution.

(25) Researchers must ensure that all those who have contributed to the research, facilities or materials, are properly acknowledged where discipline conventions permit such acknowledgement.

(26) Researchers are responsible for assigning authorship in accordance with this guideline and the principles of authorship identified in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and the University's Responsible Conduct of Research Policy.

(27) Researchers are responsible for maintaining a knowledge of and applying any relevant discipline conventions.

(28) The executive author is responsible for recording and retaining records regarding the attribution of authorship, the management of the research data underpinning a publication and managing communication with publishers.

(29) Researchers are responsible for attempting to resolve and/or co-operate in any process undertaken to resolve a dispute regarding authorship.

(30) Faculty Advisors in Research Integrity and Heads of School are responsible for providing advice and assisting collaborating researchers to resolve disputes regarding authorship.

(31) The Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation is responsible for managing disputes regarding authorship or acknowledgement where agreement cannot be reached by the collaborating researchers with the assistance of the relevant Head of School.

(32) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) is responsible for reviewing any requests for appeal.