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Research Authorship and Publications Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The purpose of these Procedures is to give effect to the implementation of the Research Authorship and Publications Policy.

(2) These Procedures should be read in conjunction with:

  1. The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018,
  2. The Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018,
  3. Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018,
  4. Australian Research Council Research Integrity Policy,
  5. National Health and Medical Research Council Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders 2018,
  6. Responsible Research Conduct Policy,
  7. Responsible Research Conduct Procedures - Staff,
  8. Responsible Research Conduct Procedures - Higher Degree Researchers (Students).

(3) These Procedures apply to all staff and Higher Degree Researchers who carry out research under the auspices of the University, Honours students and students undertaking research as part of their coursework awards.

(4) These Procedures focus on the authorship of research publications/outputs.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purposes of this policy, the definitions are consistent with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 (the Code), the Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 (the Guide) and Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 (the Authorship Guide).

(6) ARC means the Australian Research Council.

(7) 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.

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

(9) Higher Degree Researcher (HDR) means a higher degree by research student.

(10) NHMRC means the National Health and Medical Research Council.

(11) Procedural Fairness means that a fair and proper procedure is used when making a decision.

(12) Research is a broad concept and includes the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

(13) Research Integrity Advisor (RIA) is a person or persons with knowledge of the Code and institutional processes nominated by the University to promote the responsible conduct of research and provide advice to those with concerns or complaints about potential breaches of the Code.

(14) Research output communicates or makes available the findings of research that may be in hardcopy, electronic or other form. Examples of research outputs include, but are not limited to, journal articles, book chapters, books, conference papers, reports, datasets, patents and patent applications, performances, videos and exhibitions.

(15) Researcher means a person who conducts or assists with the conduct of research.

(16) Significant intellectual or scholarly contribution means a contribution that must include one, and should contain a combination of two or more of the following:

  1. Conception and design of the project or output,
  2. Acquisition of research data where the acquisition had required significant intellectual judgement, planning, design or input,
  3. Contribution of knowledge, where justified, including Indigenous knowledge,
  4. Analysis or interpretation of research data,
  5. Drafting significant parts of the research output or critically revising it so as to contribute to its interpretation.

(17) Staff (for the purpose of this policy) means all persons who are academic or professional employees of Southern Cross University, including full time, fixed term and casuals, and adjunct, visiting, emeritus and conjoint appointees who are engaged in supervisory roles and/or carry out other research roles under the auspices of the University.

(18) Student means a person who is registered as a student of the University regardless of whether at the time of the publication of a research output they are currently enrolled in a course of study conducted by or within the University.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Authorship Agreement

(19) The corresponding author is responsible for all communications and record keeping of the research output, inclusive of requests for data, agreed authorship discussions and written agreements.

(20) The corresponding author is responsible for coordinating the completion of the Authorship Agreement, maintaining the agreement and retaining secure copies of the agreement.

(21) Authorship agreements should be discussed and formalised at an early stage in the research project and preparation of the research output.

(22) All authors of a research output must sign the authorship agreement to confirm their acceptance of authorship and order of authors.

(23) The Authorship Agreement should continue to be discussed as a project evolves, and should be amended where there are any changes, such as if new people become involved and make a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution. All authors must sign any amended versions of an authorship agreement.

(24) The accepted practice for the order of authors’ names appearing on a research output varies between disciplines. Authors must be able to justify the order in which authors are listed in research outputs in accordance with discipline norms.

(25) The Authorship Weighting Schema is an optional tool that may be used by authors to assist in confirming all authors have made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to research outputs, and determining their level of contribution for order of authorship.

Authorship affiliation statement

(26) Correct affiliation of Southern Cross University in research outputs is important for benchmarking research performance and government reporting.

(27) Southern Cross University authors should include an author affiliation statement on all research outputs. Author affiliation statements must be compliant to ensure that all Southern Cross University publications are correctly and consistently attributed.

Dispute resolution mechanism

(28) Concerns, disputes or complaints regarding the attribution of authorship must be resolved in accordance with these procedures.

(29) A concern, dispute or complaint regarding authorship of a research output may arise at any time pre or post publication, and may be related to the inclusion, exclusion or order of authorship.

(30) Resolution of concerns, disputes or complaints should take into account practice within the discipline(s) and the requirements of the publisher.

(31) All authors must ensure that any concerns about the accuracy or integrity of any part of the output are appropriately responded to. This includes providing all necessary evidence to demonstrate the accuracy and integrity of their contribution, or seeking such evidence from other co-authors.

(32) If an author is deceased, or cannot be contacted within a reasonable timeframe, all co-authors must have confidence in the accuracy and integrity of that individual’s contribution.

(33) Authors, preferably via the corresponding author, are encouraged to consult with a Research Integrity Advisor who is independent of the research output to seek guidance to resolve the matter and provide advice regarding the interpretation of the Research Authorship and Publications Policy and Procedures, the Code and Authorship Guide.

(34) All parties to the dispute should maintain records of agreements reached through the dispute resolution process.

(35) The author (and excluded author) must make a request in writing for their concern, dispute or complaint to be resolved. The request must be supported by Authorship Concern, Complaint or Dispute documentation and submitted as follows:

  Dispute Resolved by:
Corresponding Author is Faculty-based Executive Dean 
Corresponding Author is a Higher Degree Researcher, Honours Student or Coursework Student   Executive Dean or College Dean
Corresponding Author is College-based College Dean
Corresponding Author is not based in a Faculty or College  Head of Work Unit

(36) The Executive Dean, College Dean or Head of Work Unit will review the concern, dispute or complaint and attempt to resolve the matter within 10 business days of receiving all relevant information.

(37) The determination will be made consistent with the principles of procedural fairness.

(38) The Executive Dean, College Dean or Head of Work Unit will provide a written response on the determination of their review to all authors (and excluded authors), including reasons for the decision.

(39) A determination made prior to the publication of a research output may include one or more of the following:

  1. Dismiss the matter,
  2. Removing authors who do not meet authorship criteria,
  3. Adding authors who met the authorship criteria but had been excluded as an author,
  4. Acknowledging the contribution(s) of individuals,
  5. Changing the authorship order on the publication,
  6. Refer the matter to be handled through another University process, such as processes under the Responsible Research Conduct Policy and Procedures or the Enterprise Agreement.

(40) A determination made following publication may include one or more of the following:

  1. Dismiss the matter,
  2. Direct the corresponding author to have the authorship corrected on the publication,
  3. Direct the corresponding author to correct the public record by way of erratum or retraction,
  4. Refer the matter to be handled through another University process, such as processes under the Responsible Research Conduct Policy and Procedures or the Enterprise Agreement.

(41) Should an Executive Dean, College Dean or  Head of Work Unit refer the matter to the  Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) for determination, the Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) will attempt to resolve the matter within 20 business days of receiving all relevant information.

(42) The Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) will provide a written response on the determination of their review, including reasons for the decision, to all relevant individuals.

(43) A determination made by the Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) may include one or more of the options listed in Clause (40).

(44) The Authorship Dispute Flowchart provides a summary of the publication concern/complaint/dispute resolution process.

Request for review of authorship dispute determination

(45) An individual may request a review of an authorship determination. Only requests for a review of a determination on the grounds of procedural fairness will be considered.

(46) A request for review of a determination must be made in writing within 20 business days of the date of the written determination. A request for review of a determination must provide evidence that procedural fairness was not observed in making the determination, a copy of the determination and include all documentation provided as part of the determination.

(47) A request for a review of a determination made by an Executive Dean, College Dean or Head of Work Unit must be made to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Academic Capability). The decision of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Academic Capability) is final within the University.

(48) Individuals will be notified of the outcome of the review in writing, and if dissatisfied have the right to access an external review process through the NSW Ombudsman Office.

(49) The Authorship Determination Review Process provides a summary of the review process. 

Conflict of Interest or Bias

(50) The person making a determination must be independent of the concern/dispute/complaint and is disqualified from making a determination or reviewing a determination if there is any actual or perceived bias or conflict of interest. Conflict of interest includes but is not limited to:

  1. Any personal relationship of a social or intimate nature between the person making the determination and persons subject to the concern/dispute/complaint, or any other person who provides evidence in respect of the concern/dispute/complaint; or
  2. If the person making the determination is a person who provides evidence that is used to make a determination in respect of a concern/dispute/complaint; or
  3. Financial or non-financial interest that may be perceived, potential or actual conflict of interest.

Disputes involving collaborators

(51) In cases where the concern, dispute or complaint has not been resolved between authors (and excluded authors), and there is collaboration with other institutions or organisations, the matter will be managed by the institution of the corresponding author, or by a process agreed by all authors (and excluded authors).

(52) The Executive Dean,  College Dean or Head of Work Unit must be advised by the lead Southern Cross University author if an authorship concern, dispute or complaint is being managed outside of the University and be provided with details of its progress and resolution. 

Reporting Research outputs

(53) The corresponding author must register the research output with the publications team (Registering publications).

(54) In cases where the corresponding author is not a Southern Cross University staff member, Higher Degree Researcher, Honours or coursework student, the first named Southern Cross University author must register the research output with the publications team (Registering publications).

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Section 4 - Associated Documents

(55) Authorship Agreement template

(56) Optional Authorship weighting schema

(57) Authorship Affiliation Statement

(58) Authorship Concern, Complaint or Dispute document requirements

(59) Authorship Dispute Process (Flowchart)

(60) Authorship Determination Review Process (Flowchart)

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(61) Nil.