Authorship Policy Guidelines
Authorship must only recognise a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output. An author is responsible for the integrity and accurate reporting of at least their significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output.
In determining this policy, the University considers that authorship:
(i) must be an honest reflection of contribution to research, and
(ii) should be assigned fairly and consistently, and
(iii) should be communicated clearly and transparently between contributors to the research, and
(iv) should be approached with a generosity of spirit whilst remaining true to the policy requirements.
2. Authorship criteria
2.1. Authorship is attributed only when a researcher has made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output and is willing to take responsibility for the contribution. Researchers qualify as authors if they have made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution through at least one, but often more than one, of the following:
2.1.1. Conception and design of the research described in the research output,
2.1.2. Acquisition of research data where the acquisition has required significant intellectual judgement or input,
2.1.3. Analysis and interpretation of research data,
2.1.4. Drafting of the research output or redrafting the research output so as to critically change or substantively advance the interpretation.
2.2. A person who qualifies as an author must not be included or excluded without their written agreement and a record of this agreement must be kept.
2.2.1. A written agreement for exclusion is not required where supervisors of student researchers are not typically included as authors on research outputs by student researchers in accordance with conventions of authorship for the discipline and as codified in the Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship.
2.3. The record of authorship agreement must include a description of the contribution that each author made to the research output. The record of authorship agreement may be informal (e.g. email, letters, etc.).
2.4. Authorship must not be attributed when a researcher has not made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output or is unwilling to take responsibility for their contribution. Contributions made solely through the provision of funding, the provision of technical support, technical advice or technical assistance, their position or as a gift, the provision of materials, infrastructure or access to equipment, are generally not considered to meet the criteria for authorship described in 2.1.
2.5. Contributions to the research output that do not meet the authorship criteria described in 2.1 must be properly recognised by acknowledgement where this is appropriate for the type of research output. This may include contributions made by researchers, funding bodies, research infrastructure facilities and organisations.
3.1. An author takes responsibility for at least that part of the research that they contributed.
3.2. In accepting an authorship, the author attests to the integrity and accuracy of at least that part of the research that they contributed.
3.3. 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 in accordance with the University Authorship Procedures and the relevant Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship. The corresponding author is at least responsible for communication between the publishers and managing communication between the co-authors. The corresponding author must maintain records of authorship agreement (in line with 2.2 and 2.3 above). Where the corresponding author is not a University of Melbourne researcher, authors are encouraged to keep their own records.
3.4. Where there is more than one author of a research output, the authors should discuss and reach agreement on the order in which the authors appear in accordance with the University Authorship Procedure and the relevant Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship.
3.5. Where the convention in the discipline dictates and there is more than one author of a research output, a senior author or authors must be identified. In addition to fulfilling the criteria for authorship, the senior author’s role is normally to have overseen the research and to attest to the integrity and accuracy of the research as a whole.
3.6. All authors have a responsibility to ensure that all contributors to the research output are properly recognised regardless of their position or role or any subsequent change in their position or role.
3.7. All authors have a responsibility to ensure that the contribution of student researchers is properly recognised in research outputs.
3.8. During drafting, submission and finalisation of the research output, authors should respond to communications about the research output in a timely manner.
4. Authorship disputes
4.1. Where a dispute arises between authors, it is to be resolved in accordance with the University of Melbourne Authorship Dispute Resolution Procedure.
4.2. In this procedure, parties in dispute are to attempt to resolve the matter through direct dialogue. Where this fails, a Senior Academic as indicated in the relevant Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship for example the Associate Dean (Research) or Head of Department are to mediate the dispute.
4.3. Where this mediation fails or where in the opinion of the Senior Academic indicated in the relevant Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship the dispute might represent a significant deviation from accepted practice, the dispute shall be referred to the Office for Research Ethics and Integrity.
4.4. Records of agreements reached after resolution by direct dialogue or mediation shall be maintained by the parties to the dispute.
4.5. Legal representation for any party to an authorship dispute is not permitted in this procedure.
5. Faculty or graduate school guidelines for authorship
5.1. Faculties or Graduate Schools are to develop authorship guidelines, which provide researchers with discipline specific advice.
5.2. Faculties or Graduate Schools may produce more than one guideline where indicated by breadth of research in that Faculty or Graduate School.
5.3. Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship must not contain advice that is contrary to the University Authorship Policy or other relevant requirements.
5.4. Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship must be endorsed by the Research Ethics and Integrity Strategy Committee.
6. Allegations of plagiarism that primarily relate to author exclusion
6.1. Allegations of plagiarism that are based on the exclusion of an author on a research output (that is, by excluding an author that made a significant intellectual contribution, the ideas, work or other intellectual or creative output of that author has been used without permission or authority), will be resolved in accordance with the Authorship Dispute Resolution Procedure outlined in 4 above.