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Research Publication Responsibility Guideline

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This Research Publication Responsibility Guideline (the Guideline) supports and reinforces the following documents, and should be read in conjunction with those documents:

  1. Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code);
  2. Publication and dissemination of research: a guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the supporting guide);
  3. Responsible Conduct of Research Policy (the Policy);
  4. Intellectual Property Policy
  5. Code for the Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom;
  6. Open Access Policy
  7. Research Data and Primary Materials Management Procedure
  8. Research Breach Investigation Procedure;
  9. Conflict of Interest Policy;
  10. Media Policy; and
  11. Social Media Communication Policy.

(2) It is recognised that compliance with the provisions set out in the Code, the Policy and this Guideline may be dependent upon commercial publication restrictions. Where consistent with the intent of the Code, it is appropriate to comply with any commercial publication restrictions.

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Section 2 - Audience

(3) These guidelines should be read and understood by: 

  1. Researchers; and 
  2. Marketing and Communications staff.
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Section 3 - Document Specific Definitions

(4) In the context of this document:

  1. Research publication, as described in Publication and dissemination of research: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, includes:
    1. traditional research outputs e.g. books, book chapters, journal articles;
    2. non-traditional research outputs (NTRO) e.g. original creative works, performances and exhibitions; 
    3. non-refereed publications e.g. conference publications, interviews, pre-prints and social media; and
    4. dissemination undertaken as part of applications for research grants and forms of financial support.
  2. Researcher is as defined in the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

Disseminating Research Findings

(5) Researchers are encouraged to disseminate research findings as widely as possible, using effective modes and at the earliest opportunity.

(6) In accordance with the provisions of the Code and the supporting guide, Researchers are responsible for ensuring the account of their research is accurate and complete. This includes:

  1. taking all reasonable steps to ensure that methodology, data and findings are reported accurately and are consistent with relevant discipline guidelines and conventions;
  2. ensuring that conclusions are justified by the results and limitations are appropriately acknowledged;
  3. accurately citing and acknowledging their own work and the work of others, whether published or unpublished, including primary sources and data;
  4. ensuring any negative findings and/or results contrary to the hypotheses are included; 
  5. the ratification of any human clinical or animal research activity by the appropriate ethics committee; and
  6. taking action in a timely manner to correct or retract research when necessary.

(7) Researchers must ensure the University is listed as the affiliated institution in the author by-line on all publications.

(8) Researchers must ensure that publications:

  1. take into account any ethical and legal restrictions relating to intellectual property, and the appropriate handling of confidential or other sensitive information including culturally sensitive data (refer to the University's Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property Protocols where relevant); and
  2. where the research affects or is of particular significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, are presented in a format that is culturally appropriate and acceptable. Guidance may be sought from the following publications:
    1. Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders;
    2. Keeping Research on Track II; and
    3. Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.

(9) Where feasible, and within the context of standard discipline practice, parties who are normally advised of research results or are directly affected by the research should be provided with an appropriate summary of the research results.

Material that has been the Subject of Adverse Research Breach Findings

(10) A Researcher must not use any data that is found to have been improperly obtained as the basis for dissemination of research findings, including all forms of publication.

Avoiding Multiple Submissions of Research Findings

(11) Researchers must not:

  1. include the same research findings in several publications, except in particular and clearly explained circumstances such as review articles, anthologies, collections or translations; or
  2. submit work that is substantially similar to more than one publisher, or submit work that is similar to work already being published without disclosing this to the publisher at the time of submission.


(12) Researchers must take reasonable steps to obtain permission from the original publisher before republishing research findings.

Disclosing Research Support

(13) Researchers must ensure that:

  1. the research publication includes information on all sources of financial and in-kind support for the research, including relevant interests and any conflicts of interest in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Policy; and
  2. the host institution and any specific facilities within that institution, partner institution/s and funding sources of the research are acknowledged.

Registering Clinical Trials

(14) Researchers are required to register clinical trials with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry and include the clinical trial registration number in any subsequent publication/s, to promote access to information about all clinical trials.

Release of Findings Prior to Peer Review

(15) When seeking to release research findings that have not yet been subject to peer review, researchers must:

  1. first give due consideration to the release, particularly if the research is sensitive in nature or may be contentious; and
  2. in the release, disclose the unpublished status of the research and provide details of the peer-review mechanisms to which the research findings will later be subjected.

(16) When the confidentiality requirements of a funding body prevents or delays peer review until after the research results are delivered to the funding body, the Researcher must:

  1. present the findings to the funding body under a written disclaimer that states the work has not been subject to peer review; and
  2. alert the funding body to the principles and responsibilities of the Code.

Communicating Research Findings in the Public Arena

(17) Researchers are encouraged to communicate their findings in accordance with the Media Policy and Social Media Communication Policy to a range of audiences and engage with relevant communities to inform genuine public debate, and subject to presenting findings appropriately before public release where research has a strong commercial element or legal obligation.

(18) Researchers should be aware of the difficulties of communicating research findings to the wider community where there is no opportunity to review media reports of communications before the reports are released to the public. Researchers should therefore avail themselves of professional assistance and media training in communicating with the wider community.

(19) Researchers anticipating media interest subsequent to the publication of research outcomes should liaise with the UON Media Centre to coordinate responses to media enquiries.

(20) Researchers are required to observe any restrictions on communications that have been formally agreed with the funding body of the research.

(21) Discussion of research findings should not usually occur until research findings have been evaluated through a peer review process or another appraisal process that meets the standards of the discipline, unless it is:

  1. presented as research in progress, a preprint, or at professional conferences; or
  2. in the national interest or in response to a public health crisis.

(22) Care should be taken to explain the status of the project e.g. whether it is still in progress, is a preliminary conference report, or has been finalised.

(23) To minimise misunderstandings, those directly impacted by the research (including interested parties to the research or those given undertakings as part of the research process) should be informed of the research findings before they are made public.

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Section 5 - Roles and Responsibilities

(24) Researchers are responsible for the dissemination and publication of research findings in accordance with:

  1. this Guideline
  2. the Policy;
  3. the Code;
  4. any external requirements of funding or other bodies; and
  5. any other relevant University policy.

(25) Researchers should:

  1. not be inappropriately influenced by research results when determining how or where research is published;
  2. take into account limitations regarding patent applications and publication fee requirements;
  3. be aware of unscrupulous publication practices such as predatory journals and use appropriate databases to identify quality outlets; 
  4. avoid unreasonable publication delays;
  5. seek advice from their line manager where their research or research outputs are confidential or sensitive, or could harm human, animal or plant health, the environment, or Australia’s national security;
  6. seek advice from Export Controls where their research may be subject to export controls or sanctions regimes;
  7. be aware of their obligations under the Code when making research findings publicly available as preprints; 
  8. seek advice from the Research Integrity Unit if they identify identify potential misuse of their research findings or outcomes; and   
  9. refer to the University Library's Research Support Guides for guidance on avenues for publication.