Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President, Research and Innovation
In developing this policy the University had regard to the provisions of section 40B(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT).
Publication and Authorship of Research Policy
This document sets out the University of Canberra’s policy on publication and authorship of research.
Dissemination of research findings is an important part of the research process, and passes on the benefits of the research to other researchers, professional practitioners and the wider community. Researchers have a responsibility to disseminate a full and accurate account of their research as broadly as possible, including negative findings and results contrary to hypotheses. Researchers must ensure that the use of the work of others is appropriately acknowledged and cited. The University is committed to promoting an environment of honesty, integrity, accuracy and responsibility in the dissemination of research findings.
It is essential that all parties responsible for bringing about a piece of research are duly acknowledged for their contribution in any publications or reports to emanate from the research. Authorship of a research output is a matter that should be discussed between researchers at an early stage in a research project, and reviewed whenever there are changes in participation.
This policy applies to all members of the University community (staff and students) who are undertaking research. This policy also covers the variety of approaches to publication and dissemination, including academic journals and books, as well as non-refereed avenues such as webpages, other media such as exhibitions or films, as well as professional and institutional repositories.
Publication activities must take account of any restrictions relating to intellectual property or culturally sensitive data.
Publication of multiple papers based on the same analysis of the same set(s) or subset(s) of data is not acceptable. Publication of multiple papers based on the same set(s) or subset(s) of data is acceptable, where new interpretations are presented and there is full cross-referencing within the papers (for example, in a series of closely related work, or where a complete work grew out of a preliminary publication and this is fully acknowledged). In borderline cases, an author who submits substantially similar work to more than one publisher must disclose this to the publishers at the time of submission.
As a general principle research findings should not be reported in the public media before they have been reported to a research audience of experts in the field of research, preferably by publication in a peer-reviewed journal, except where there is a contractual arrangement.
It is acknowledged that where issues of public policy and concern make prior advice desirable, such advice must be tendered first to the public or professional authorities responsible, and the unreported status of the findings must be advised at the same time. Only where responsible authorities fail to act can prior reporting to the media be justified, and again the unpublished status of the findings must be reported at the same time.
Where there is private reporting of research that has not yet been exposed to open peer-review scrutiny, especially when it is reported to prospective financial supporters, researchers have an obligation to explain fully the status of the work and the peer-review mechanisms to which it will be subjected.
Publications must include information on the sources of financial support for the research. Financial sponsorship that carries an embargo on such naming of a sponsor should be avoided.
Deliberate inclusion of inaccurate or misleading information relating to research activity in curriculum vitae, grant applications, job applications or public statements, or the failure to provide relevant information, is a form of research misconduct. Accuracy is essential in describing the state of publication (in preparation, submitted, accepted), research funding (applied for, granted, funding period), and awards conferred, and where any of these relate to more than one researcher.
All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that published reports, statistics and public statements about research activities and performance are complete, accurate and unambiguous.
Consistent with the National Code, the University provides advice to its researchers on how to disseminate research findings, talk to journalists, and ensure appropriate partner acknowledgment, through a dedicated Media and Communications area.
When there is more than one author of a research output, one co-author (by agreement amongst the authors) should be nominated as executive author for the whole research output, and should take responsibility for record-keeping regarding the research output. This would normally be the senior or corresponding author.
The minimum requirement for authorship of a publication should be:
participation in the conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data;
participation in drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
willingness to give final approval of the version to be published.
It is the responsibility of the executive/senior author to initiate discussions and resolve disputes in regards to authorship, order of appearance of authors and other issues related to acknowledgement of contribution to the work and the publication.
"Honorary authorship" occurs when a person is listed as an author of a publication when they have not participated in any substantial way in the conception, execution or interpretation of at least part of the work described in the publication."Honorary authorship" is unacceptable. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Any part of an article critical to its main conclusion must be the responsibility of at least one author. An author's role in a research output must be sufficient for that person to take public responsibility for at least that part of the output in that person's area of expertise. No person who is an author, consistent with this definition, must be excluded as an author without their permission in writing.
Due recognition of all participants is a part of a proper research process. Authors must ensure that the work of all participants in the research -- research students, research assistants and technical officers, whether paid or voluntary -- is properly acknowledged. Courtesy demands that individuals and organisations providing facilities should also be acknowledged.
It is the responsibility of the executive author (that is, the author taking overall responsibility for the publication) to ensure that all nominated authors have read the final paper, that each meets the minimum requirements for authorship, and that there are no other persons who meet the minimum requirements for authorship but have not been included among the authors. In submitting the manuscript for publication, a statement to this effect should be included in the covering letter, and a copy of this letter, signed by all authors, should be held on file. The executive author should be identified in the letter as the author to which correspondence should be directed. If, for any reason, one or more co-authors are unavailable or otherwise unable to sign the statement of authorship, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Dean of Faculty, or Director of Research Centre may sign the file copy on their behalf, provided they themselves are not a co-author, noting the reason for the co-author’s unavailability.
Conflicts arising through disputes about authorship should be first brought to the attention of the Faculty Dean or Research Centre Director for resolution. If this fails, or if the Faculty Dean or Research Centre Director is a party to the dispute, the matter should be brought before the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research.
This policy is governed by the University of Canberra Act 1989 (ACT) and informed by the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research (the National Code).
This policy is part of a suite of policies designed to ensure the responsible conduct of research by all University staff and students. The National Code constitutes the national guidelines for institutions and researchers in responsible research practices, and was jointly developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Universities Australia. This National Code provides the basis for the University of Canberra Responsible Conduct of Research Policy. The University policies in this area are designed to ensure compliance with the National Code, and also with the conditions of public funding bodies.