View Current

Authorship Grievance Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this document to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Introduction/Background

(1) This Procedure details the processes and responsibilities associated with disputes, concerns or complaints relating to the designation of authorship on publications emerging from research conducted at the University of Wollongong (“the University”).

(2) Author eligibility and author order should be agreed upon as early as reasonably possible following the commencement of a project. Authors may consult with a Research Integrity Advisor at any time for informal advice in relation to the authorship of research outputs and best practice in accordance with the Authorship Policy and Authorship Acknowledgement Procedure.

(3) Authorship must:

  1. be formally certified or acknowledged before publications are submitted;
  2. include acknowledgement of those assisting the research; and
  3. ensure all publications contain correct attribution to all researchers, acknowledgement of funding sources, and a statement of relevant conflicts of interests by the authors.

(4) Disputes, complaints or concerns relating to the attribution of authorship must be resolved according to these procedures.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope/Purpose

(5) This Procedure enacts the University Authorship Policy and authorship requirements as outlined in the National Health and Medical Research Council Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (“the Code”).

(6) This Procedure applies to all University Researchers who participate in investigation and other academic activities to ensure they are equitably acknowledged and their contributions are fairly represented.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Background

(7) A concern, complaint or dispute may be raised by any one or more of the co-authors of a written and/or published research output.

(8) Co-author concerns, complaints or disputes may arise at any time prior to publication or post publication and may be related to the inclusion, exclusion or order of authorship.

(9) Co-authors are encouraged to attempt first to resolve the matter through direct dialogue with each other.

(10) Co-authors (preferably via the Executive Author) are encouraged to consult with a Research Integrity Advisor, who is independent of the project, to seek assistance to resolve the issue and provide advice regarding the interpretation of the Authorship Policy, the Code and any other applicable procedures and documentation.

(11) In the event the co-authors are unable to arrive at a mutual resolution the applicable grievance procedure (Section 4 or Section 5 below) is to be followed.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Grievances Prior to Publication

(12) If the authorship concern, complaint or dispute has not been resolved between co-authors and there is collaboration with other institutions the dispute will be managed by the institution of the Executive Author or by using the process agreed by the co-authors.

(13) The Head of School (HoS) should be advised if the resolution is being managed via an institution outside of the University, including the resolution when reached.

(14) If the Co-authors are all affiliated with the University the matter will be referred to the applicable HOS.

(15) The Head of School will review the matter and attempt to resolve this at the School level. This process should take no more than 10 business days.

(16) At the conclusion of the HoS review, or in the event that the HoS refers the matter to the Executive Dean of the Faculty (or Head of Institute) (e.g. due to a conflict of interest), the Co'authors will be advised in writing.

(17) The Executive Dean will review the matter and within 10 business days provide a written response on the outcome of their review to the co-authors.

(18) If the Executive Dean is unable to resolve the matter the Dean will refer the matter and all applicable documentation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Sustainable Futures) (DVCR) or their nominated delegate, with a copy to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO). The following information will need to be provided:

  1. A copy of the documentation used for acknowledging authorship;
  2. copies of any key documents that show:
    1. how each author has met the criteria for authorship attribution;
    2. the final approvals of the version to be published;
    3. a list of all authors that are considered to be valid and the reasons why;
    4. a list of any other authors believed to have contributed to the publication and evidence why they should be fully acknowledged.

(19) The DVC-RSF will review the material presented and make a determination which may include:

  1. removing those researchers that are deemed as failing to meet the authorship criteria and/or acknowledging their contributions, if appropriate;
  2. including all researchers that are deemed as having met the authorship criteria; and
  3. revising the authorship order on the publication.

(20) The DVC-RSF may seek advice from an independent expert (as required) to assist them in making their determination.

(21) The research output can only be published when all valid authors agree on the authorship of the publication.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Authorship Disputes Post Publication

(22) If an individual has any concerns in relation to the authorship of an existing publication they should refer their concern in writing to the DVC-RSF or nominated delegate.

(23) The DVC-RSF will consider the matter and will either proceed as per Section 4 of this procedure or via the University Research Misconduct and Complaints Management Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Authorship and Research Misconduct

(24) Authorship concerns, complaints and/or disputes do not constitute an allegation of research misconduct unless there has been an intentional and/or reckless breach of the Authorship Policy, Research Misconduct and Complaints Management Policy, the Code and/or other applicable procedures and regulations.

(25) Authorship research misconduct is ascribed if there is the intentional and/or misleading attribution of authorship to those that do not comply with the criteria or the inappropriate omission or inclusion of authors.

(26) Allegations of research misconduct in relation to the attribution or omission of authorship must follow the Research Misconduct and Complaints Management Policy and associated procedures.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Data Management

(27) The Executive Author will be responsible for any requests to access this information in accordance with the Research Data Management Policy and any associated guidelines.

Top of Page

Section 8 - Record Keeping

(28) The Executive Author is responsible for all record keeping pertaining to disputes, concerns or complaints relating to the designation of authorship on publications in accordance with the University Research Data Management Policy and any other applicable guidelines.

(29) All authors must additionally retain a copy of all documentation, discussions, disputes, concerns and decisions on acknowledging authorship in accordance with the Records Management Policy.

(30) All authors must ensure all scholarly outputs are recorded in the University Research Information System (RIS) and that research publications in RIS are also made available online via Research Online, the University’s institutional repository.

Top of Page

Section 9 - Definitions

Word/Term Definition (with examples if required)
Author The creator, single or joint, of any research output who has made a substantial intellectual contribution to its creation.
Authorship The intellectual participation in conceiving, executing or interpreting at least part of a research, scholarly or other academic output in the author's field of expertise, sufficient for the author to take public responsibility for that output.
Code National Health and Medical Research Council Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
Executive Author Also may be referred to as Corresponding Author. This is the Single Point of Contact and the person designated responsibility for the management of all communication with the publisher, internal and/or external parties, record keeping and data management of the publication.
Research 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.
Researcher Staff member, occupational trainees, visiting student, visiting fellow, volunteer, industry fellow, honorary and adjunct title holders, Emeritus Professors, professional staff, visiting students and all students registered for any course at the University who conduct research at or on behalf of the University.
Research Integrity Advisor (RIA) Person or persons with knowledge of the Code and University processes nominated by an institution to promote the responsible conduct of research.
Research Misconduct Conduct by a researcher, staff member, visitor or Student that is in breach of the Rules, Codes, Policies and Procedures of the University or the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research where such a breach relates to the general principles of responsible research namely honesty and integrity, respect, good stewardship, appropriate acknowledgement and responsible communication.
Staff Member All persons appointed as an academic or professional staff member of the University whether they hold full-time, part-time, casual, contract or conjoint appointments.
Student A person registered for a Course at the University.
The University University of Wollongong.
Visiting Fellow Honorary and visiting fellows appointed by UOW to non-salaried, full-time or fractional positions titled “Associate Fellow”, “Fellow”, “Senior Fellow”, “Principal Fellow”, “Professorial Fellow”, “Visiting Fellow”, or “Research Fellow” who are not Visiting Students or Volunteers.
Visiting Student A student who undertakes part of their research or training at UOW but who is not registered at UOW.
Volunteer A person who is not a Fellow, Visiting Student, Staff Member or Student of UOW but is working on a UOW project in a voluntary capacity. An example of a volunteer is someone who is undertaking unpaid work experience at UOW or is doing an internship at UOW. A collaborating colleague from another University or research institution is not a Volunteer.