View Current

Research Authorship Procedure

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Research Policy by:

  1. ensuring that the acknowledgment of research authorship is aligned with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 and the supporting Authorship guide; 
  2. stating requirements to ensure that credit for authorship, affiliation and contributions to research are fairly and accurately stated; and
  3. providing a mechanism for confirming authorship and minimising disputes.


(2) This procedure applies to:

  1. staff, adjunct staff and students of Charles Sturt University (the University) and staff and students of partner organisations who conduct, supervise or support university research;
  2. all research outputs arising from research by staff and students of the University; and
  3. published or unpublished papers that may be produced from or form part of a higher degree by research (HDR) thesis (but otherwise this procedure does not apply to theses that are submitted for an HDR award).

(3) This procedure does not: 

  1. apply to honorary staff, visiting fellows, visiting students and anyone else involved in collaborating with university staff and/or students to produce research outputs (however, people in these groups are recommended to apply the procedure in matters of authorship); or
  2. address ownership of intellectual property. The Intellectual Property Policy states requirements relating to intellectual property in research outputs.


(4) Where supporting documents are named in this procedure, they will be listed in the associated information tab.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Glossary

(5) The terms used in this procedure are defined in the glossary section of the Research Policy.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Policy

(6) This procedure supports the Research Policy and should be read alongside that policy.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Procedure

Part A - Rights to authorship

(7) The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 (the Code) states that to be named as an author, a researcher must have ’made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to the research and its output’.

(8) The Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Authorship guide) provides further detail on what constitutes significant intellectual or scholarly contributions.

(9) The Research Authorship Guidelines provide common models for determining authorship and author order.

(10) Disciplines may apply the models differently or have their own norms for assigning authorship.

(11) Researchers must ensure that authorship is not offered to those who do not meet the criteria for authorship.

Research students

(12) A higher degree by research (HDR) student should be listed as principal author on any multiple-authored article that is substantially based on the student’s work for the HDR award. If a supervisor meets the criteria for authorship, they should take second author status, unless the student and supervisor have agreed otherwise.

(13) Acknowledgement of a supervisor as a co-author is appropriate if the supervisor meets the criteria for authorship as stated in the Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research guide and the Research Authorship Guidelines.

(14) There may be circumstances where the supervisor is the principal author, but this must be with the student's written approval. If a research supervisor and their student form a contract for their research collaboration, it must include a statement on the principles to be used to determine authorship.

Research assistants

(15) Where a research assistant works on a project that they were not involved in conceiving and planning, co-authorship:

  1. may be appropriate where the research assistant adds substantial new knowledge to the project such as developing and presenting a new model or analysing data in an innovative way, or takes primary responsibility for writing a manuscript or report; but
  2. is not appropriate if the research assistant only prepares summaries of literature, collects and types data, analyses data by processes others design for them, prepares drafts of reports or manuscripts, or other similar tasks.


(16) An editor can be credited, using this procedure’s criteria for authorship, where the editing of a collective work or anthology plays a significant role in its intellectual shaping.

(17) More commonly, editorial assistance with a publication does not meet the criteria for authorship.

Acknowledging contributors

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

(19) Where the research output contains Indigenous knowledge obtained from unpublished manuscripts or recordings, the contribution should be approved and acknowledged in accordance with the Authorship: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research guide and the Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders

Part B - Managing authorship

(20) Where a research output includes several authors, a corresponding author will be responsible for recording authorship and managing communications about the publication with the authors and publishers.

(21) The corresponding author must offer authorship to all people who meet the criteria for authorship.

(22) The corresponding author must ensure that all authors acknowledge their authorship in writing.

(23) The authors should make a written agreement on authorship, which should include a brief description of each author’s contribution to the work and should be retained as a record.

(24) Where an author or contributor cannot be contacted, this must be acknowledged when the research output is published.

Process to determine authorship and author order

(25) Collaborating researchers should agree on the attribution and the order of authorship of a research output early in the research project and should periodically review this agreement as the research proceeds.

(26) The order of authorship should reflect the different amounts of intellectual and scholarly input with the person who made the greatest contribution listed as the principal author using the discipline standard (either first or last-named author) and others listed in order of relative contributions.

(27) The Research Authorship Guidelines provide advice and models for determining authorship order.

Institutional affiliation

(28) Each author’s institutional affiliation must be stated in the research output, to:

  1. recognise institutional support and investment in research; and
  2. ensure the research output contributes to relevant measures of the institution’s research performance.

(29) For staff and students of the University, authorship of a research output must record their affiliation to the University if they undertook the research as part of their employment or course of study with the University.

(30) The University also expects adjunct staff to record their affiliation to the University in outputs of their research as an adjunct staff member, in return for the University’s support of and investment in their research.

(31) Even if an author has left the University, they should record their affiliation to it in outputs from research conducted while they were at the University.

Recording research outputs

(32) Researchers are responsible for recording all research publications and creative works in the University’s research repository, CRO - CSU Research Output, as soon as possible after accepted for publication.

Disputes and conflicts

(33) Where a dispute arises between authors over inclusion, exclusion or author order, they should seek to resolve the matter by collegial discussion between the authors, guided by this procedure, the Research Policy and the Research Authorship Guidelines.

(34) Where collegial discussion does not reach consensus, the authors should consider mediated discussion supported by an impartial senior colleague.

(35) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will decide all disputes and conflicts on authorship that cannot be resolved by collegial discussion or mediation. 

(36) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) or their nominee will investigate by talking with all parties involved and, if necessary, taking advice from colleagues in other institutions before making a decision.

(37) Where an author is unhappy with the decision of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) on a dispute about authorship, they may request a review by the University Research Committee.

(38) Where the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) considers that a person claiming authorship has breached the Code in doing so, they may refer the matter for investigation under the Research Misconduct Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Guidelines

(39) The Research Authorship Guidelines support this procedure.