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Research Authorship Policy

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Section 1 - Overview & Scope

(1) This Policy supports representatives of the University of the New England (UNE) to engage in responsible research conduct, including the honest, fair and accurate acknowledgement of authorship in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2018) (the Code).

(2) This Policy provides a framework for determining and recording the authorship of research outputs emerging from activities undertaken by UNE researchers and their collaborators. The objectives of this policy are to:

  1. clearly define authorship criteria for all research outputs contributed to by University researchers;
  2. ensure that the authorship efforts of contributors to research outputs are fairly represented and equitably acknowledged;
  3. ensure that appropriate steps to confirm authorship are taken prior to submission for publication or presentation;
  4. minimise events of authorship dispute; and
  5. ensure that researchers appropriately attribute research outputs to the University 

(3) This Policy applies to all University scholarly works including, but not limited to:

  1. creative works (multi-media, works of art, performances, compositions);
  2. research outputs (journal articles, books, chapters and conference papers);
  3. reports to government agencies;
  4. maps;
  5. datasets;
  6. web-based publications;
  7. personal or professional blogs; 
  8. any online method used to disseminate/communicate research; and
  9. software. 

(4) This Policy applies to all UNE staff, Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Candidates, visitors, undergraduate students, and any other persons involved in the development of joint research outputs with University staff and/or HDR Candidates (here forth collectively identified as researchers) who are engaged in activities that may lead to research output(s).

(5) This Policy does not apply to HDR theses that are submitted to fulfil requirements for examination and award of a Higher Degree by Research. However, this policy applies to published or unpublished papers that may form part of a higher degree by research thesis, or outputs that emanate from that work.  

(6) The HDR Thesis Submission and Examination Policy outlines the authorship requirements for examination and award of a Higher Degree by Research.   

(7) This Policy does not address ownership of intellectual property. Matters relating to intellectual property are defined and addressed under the Intellectual Property Policy. 

(8) Within this Policy

  1. Part A - states the principles of this policy;
  2. Part B – covers authorship criteria and appropriate acknowledgement of other contributions;
  3. Part C - covers authorship requirements; 
  4. Part D - outlines roles and responsibilities of the University and UNE Representatives;
  5. Part E – covers the management of authorship disputes; and
  6. Part F – covers administrative requirements.

Part A - Policy Principles

(9) The University of New England promotes and facilitates high quality research, which is undertaken responsibly and with integrity, in accordance with the Code and UNE’s relevant policies and procedures.

(10) UNE is committed to ensuring the integrity of UNE’s research by promoting a culture of best research practice whereby its researchers accurately acknowledge all those, and only those, who have contributed to the research.  

(11) UNE abides by the principles that authorship must:

  1. be an honest reflection of contribution to the research output;
  2. be assigned fairly and consistently;
  3. be communicated clearly and transparently between contributors to the research output;
  4. only recognise a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output; and
  5. accurately report on the significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to research outputs

Part B - Authorship Criteria

(12) The Code recognises that attributing authorship can vary according to discipline but in every case must reflect a substantial contribution in any or all of the following:

  1. conception and design of the project that underpins the output;
  2. acquisition of research data where the acquisition has required significant intellectual judgement, planning, design, or input;
  3. contribution of knowledge, where justified, including indigenous knowledge;
  4. interpretation and analysis of research data; and
  5. drafting or otherwise producing significant components of the output or critically revising it so as to contribute to interpretation.

Unacceptable Inclusions of Authorship

(13) A person who has not participated in conceiving, executing or interpreting at least part of the relevant research is not to be included as an author of a research output derived from that research. 

(14) Authorship must not be granted to anyone solely on the basis of their position of authority, covering publication charges or close relationship with the author, including but not limited to: 

  1. the provision of funding, data, materials, infrastructure or access to equipment; 
  2. the provision of routine technical support, technical advice or technical assistance; 
  3. the position or profession of an individual, such as their role as the author’s supervisor or head of department (‘gift authorship’); 
  4. whether the contribution was paid for or voluntary; 
  5. 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 (‘guest authorship’); 
  6. involvement solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data; and
  7. general supervision of the research group. 

Part C - Research Authorship Requirements

(15) A person who qualifies as an author must not be included or excluded from the list of authors on a research output without their written consent. Each author must provide the written agreement in a timely fashion and retain a record of the agreement.

(16) Where there is more than one author of a research output, the authors must discuss and reach agreement on the order in which each author appears on the published work in accordance with the discipline specific norms and in compliance with this and related University policies listed at the beginning of this policy.

(17) Where there is more than one author of a research output, one co-author (by agreement amongst authors) must be nominated as the corresponding author for the whole research output.

(18) The corresponding author must take responsibility for ensuring that all contributors to the research output are properly recognised regardless of their position or any changes related to their position or role, and for the submission of the publication through the University publication recording system, including obtaining relevant permissions and other record keeping regarding the research output.

(19) Researchers must publish in the most appropriate outlets relevant to their discipline and avoid predatory publishers who engage in unprofessional or unethical practices.

(20) A publication which is substantially similar to another publication derived from the same research must contain appropriate reference to the other publication.

(21) A researcher who submits substantially similar work concurrently to more than one publisher must disclose that fact to the publishers at the time of submission.

(22) All those who do not meet the criteria for authorship and have otherwise made a meaningful contribution to the research, including funding agencies, have the right to be properly acknowledged in the research output.

(23) Researchers are required to observe moral rights obligations under Part IX of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Moral rights apply to performers, and authors of literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, and films. Moral rights include the right of attribution, the right of integrity, and the right to not have authorship falsely attributed. Authors and performers maintain their moral rights even if copyright in the work has been assigned or licensed to a third party.

(24) Infringement of moral rights may lead to legal action, substantial penalties, and in the case of publishing, invalidate publishing contracts.

Appropriate Acknowledgment of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Communities & Other Collective Contributions

(25) The Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research  and the Ethical Conduct in Research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Communities should be referred to if research involves engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, or use of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property.

(26) Where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities are engaged in research as researchers, advisors, participants, knowledge holders or custodians, an agreement must be established at the outset of the project that adequately outlines authorship or other attributions in an ethically sound and respectful manner.

(27) It is the responsibility of the Corresponding Author to maintain records of the engagement, authorship and attribution agreement.

Acknowledgements of Contributions Other than Authorship

(28) Contributors whose contribution is insufficient for inclusion as author, for example collectors of research data, should be acknowledged in any publication derived from that research. Individuals and organisations providing facilities or resources should also be acknowledged. 

(29) Publications must include information on the sources of financial support for the research, and financial sponsorship that carries an embargo on such naming of a sponsor should be avoided. 

Institutional Affiliation/By-line

(30) To ensure the University is appropriately recognised in a research output, all UNE authors as defined in Clause 3 of this Policy and as outlined in the statement of Authorship Form are required to cite ‘University of New England’ as the primary institution in the by-line, without the use of abbreviations, acronyms or other affiliations. The relevant Institute/School/Centre must be listed as a secondary or tertiary by-line.

(31) The inclusion of the ‘University of New England’ in the by-line is required in cases where any UNE expertise, resources, facilities or services have been used in the research. For research undertaken prior to a researcher commencing at UNE, affiliation with UNE will be included in accordance with these requirements and only where the research meets the standards of The Code and of UNE’s Responsible Conduct of Research policies and procedures.

Authorship Agreements 

(32) Collaborators (see definition) must discuss authorship at all stages of the research and establish an agreement on authorship.

(33) Authorship agreements must be periodically reviewed, including when there is a change in circumstances in the collaboration or research, such as an individual leaving or joining the team.

(34) The authorship agreement should include: 

  1. identification of those who will be recognised as the authors of the research output; 
  2. a description of the contribution that each author has made to the research output; 
  3. 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 
  4. identification of at least one corresponding author who is responsible for communication with the publisher and managing communication between the co-authors. 

(35) It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to maintain records of the authorship agreement. Where the corresponding author is not from the same institution as other listed authors, authors are encouraged to keep their own records.

Part D - Roles & Responsibilities

Institutional Responsibilities 

(36) The University is responsible for ensuring the promulgation of responsible research requirements, and that University researchers have access to and are aware of this Policy 

University Researcher Responsibilities 

(37) UNE researchers are responsible for reading and meeting the requirements of this Policy. 

(38) UNE researchers must act to ensure that authors of research outputs are all those, and only those, who have made a significant intellectually or scholarly contribution to the research and its output, and that they agree to be listed as an author.  

(39) UNE researchers must acknowledge those who have contributed to the research and its outputs and must cite and acknowledge other relevant work appropriately and accurately.  

(40) UNE researchers, as contributors to or authors of research outputs, must disseminate research findings responsibly, accurately and broadly and, where necessary, act to correct the record in a timely manner. This includes responsibilities to:

  1. disclose and manage actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest;  
  2. report suspected breaches of the Code to the relevant institution and/or authority; and 
  3. retain clear, accurate, secure and complete records of all research including research data and primary materials, and where possible and appropriate, allow access and reference to these records by interested parties;  

(41) All listed authors are collectively accountable for the whole research output and/or other documents related to the research.

(42) An individual author is directly responsible for the accuracy and integrity of their contribution to the research output and should provide assurances of this to reviewers, editors and other co-authors in a timely manner. Where an individual author does not accept this responsibility the research output should be amended to remove their contribution and co-author status.

(43) Authors must take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the contributions of all other co-authors. They should, where feasible, be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific parts of the work and should raise any concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the research before submission or publication.

(44) Following publication, all authors must ensure that any concerns about the accuracy or integrity of any part of the research output and/or other documents related to the research are appropriately responded to. This process may mean providing all necessary evidence to demonstrate the accuracy and integrity of their contribution/s or seeking such evidence from other co-authors. The process may result in correcting the public record by way of erratum or retraction.

(45) If an author is deceased (or cannot be contacted after reasonable attempts have been made), all the co-authors must still have confidence in the accuracy and integrity of that author’s contribution. Establishing this confidence may require consideration of the underlying data and methodology.

(46) Collaborating researchers should agree on the approach that will be taken for subsequent publications that arise from a research project. This should include a discussion of whether authors of the current output will be invited to collaborate on subsequent publications, and how the current output and authors will be acknowledged.

(47) Supervisors and HDR Candidates will, at the time of Higher Degree by Research thesis submission, indicate in the thesis co-authorship for chapters (or part-thereof) of the thesis that may have already been published or may be published in the future. For more details on the submission and examination of higher degree by research theses please refer to the HDR Thesis Submission and Examination Policy.

Part E -  Dispute Resolution  

(48) Where a dispute arises between authors, parties in dispute are to attempt to resolve the matter through direct dialogue. Where this fails, a Senior Academic or Head of School are to mediate the dispute. Records of agreements reached after resolution by direct dialogue or mediation shall be maintained by the parties to the dispute and stored on the University’s Records Management System (RMS)

(49) When working to resolve disputes, authors/parties should take into consideration: 

  1. ensuring respectful and fair treatment of all parties; 
  2. power imbalances between researchers; 
  3. researchers who are unwilling to accept authorship and/or accountability for their contribution, obstruct progress of a research project or output, or fail to cooperate with co-authors; and 
  4. researchers from multiple institutions and international institutions that may have different codes and guidelines around authorship and attribution. 

(50) Where this mediation fails or where in the opinion of the Senior Academic or Head of School the dispute might represent a significant deviation from accepted practice, the dispute shall be referred to the Research Integrity Office (RIO) and the parties must refer to the Research Conduct – Managing Potential Breaches Procedures

Part F - Administrative requirements

ORCiD (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)

(51) UNE researchers who undertake research must establish persistent digital identifiers that uniquely distinguish them as a researcher and connect them to their research activity. ORCiD and other researcher identifiers are used to: 

  1. establish the identity of the researcher; 
  2. get credit for research activity; and  
  3. improve publication workflow.  

(52) The University requires all researchers to obtain an ORCiD for linking to various University research systems. An ORCiD assists in making an author’s body of work more accessible by others, and provides a streamlined updating of information to the University and some external publication and funding systems. 

Confidentiality & Research Ethics Requirements 

(53) Confidentiality provisions relating to publications may apply in circumstances where the University or the researchers have made or given confidentiality undertakings to third parties or confidentiality is required to protect intellectual property rights and contractual or human research ethics agreements or requirements. 

(54) It is the responsibility of researchers to establish at an early stage as to whether confidentiality provisions apply. 

(55) It is the responsibility of the Head of School to inform researchers, HDR Supervisors and HDR Candidates of the obligations with respect to these provisions.

Statement of Authorship Form

(56) Where there are multiple authors, an online ‘Statement of Authorship’ must be completed by the corresponding author of a research output. This must be done before the research output is presented in a public forum. Completed Statement of Authorship forms must be lodged in the University's Records Management System (RMS).

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Section 2 - Authority & Compliance

(57) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (VC&CEO), pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW), makes this University policy.

(58) The Deputy Vice Chancellor Research is authorised to make procedures and processes for the effective implementation and operation of this Policy, and to publish as associated documents any tool that will assist with compliance.

(59) Policy Administrator for this policy is the Director Governance and University Secretary, who is authorised to make minor administrative updates to this Policy.


(60) UNE Representatives engaged in activities that may lead to Research outputs must observe this policy. Non-compliance may be a breach of the Code of Conduct and may be addressed under the disciplinary provisions of the relevant Enterprise Agreement.

(61) This Policy is consistent with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (The Code) and the associated, Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

(62) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the UNE Knowledge Assets and intellectual Property Policy, the Open Access to UNE Research Publications and Data Policy, the Management and Storage of Research Data and Materials Policy and the Open Access to UNE Deposit, Collection and Access Rule.

(63) This policy operates as and from the Effective Date.

(64) Previous policy on authorship and related documents are replaced and have no further operation from the effective Date.

(65) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this policy, the VC&CEO  may approve an exception to this policy where the VC&CEO determines the application of this policy would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome.  Approvals by the VC&CEO under this clause must:

  1. be documented in writing;
  2. state the reason for the exception; and
  3. be registered in the approved UNE electronic Records Management System in accordance with the Records Management Rule.

Table 1: Summary of Compliance Roles & Responsibilities

Role Responsibility
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer Is responsible for approving the policy and any exception to this policy.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Is responsible for ensuring the promulgation of responsible research requirements, and that UNE researchers have access to and are aware of this Policy.
Director Governance and University Secretary Is responsible for making and enacting administrative changes to the policy.
UNE Representatives as researchers/authors of scholarly works Are responsible for reading and meeting the requirements of this Policy.
Higher Degree Research Candidates Are responsible for reading and meeting the requirements of this Policy.
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Section 3 - Quality Assurance

(66) The implementation of this policy will be supported through:

  1. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research regularly monitoring and providing an annual report to the Graduate Research Committee, Research Committee and Academic Board on the operation of, and compliance with, this policy.
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Section 4 - Definitions (specific to this policy)

(67) Author- means an individual who has made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to research and its output and who has agreed to be listed as an author

(68) Corresponding author – means the author who is, as agreed by all co-authors, responsible for communication between the publishers, managing communication between the co-authors and maintaining records of the authorship agreement

(69) Collaborator – A collaborator is a person or organization that works with the University on a joint project or activity, such as research, teaching, or industry engagement.

(70) Research Output- a research output communicates or makes available the findings of research that may be in hardcopy, electronic or other form. Examples of research outputs include journal articles, book chapters, books, conference papers, reports, datasets, patents and patent applications, performances, videos and exhibitions.