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Research Authorship, Publication and Dissemination Procedure

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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 (the Code), and
  2. outlining the requirements for responsible publication and dissemination of research outcomes according to the Code and the supporting NHMRC Publication and Dissemination of Research Guide.


(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 published or unpublished papers that may be produced from or form part of a higher degree by research (HDR) thesis (but otherwise this procedure does not apply to theses that are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), or
  2. address ownership of intellectual property. The Intellectual Property Policy states requirements relating to intellectual property in research outputs.
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Section 2 - Policy

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

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Section 3 - Procedure

Part A - Rights to authorship

(5) 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’ and agree to be listed as an author.

(6) 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.

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

(8) Researchers must ensure that authorship is not offered to those who do not meet the criteria for authorship. Offering authorship or claiming authorship without a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution is a breach of the Code and will be dealt with under the Research Policy and the Research Misconduct Procedure.

Research students

(9) An 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.

(10) Acknowledgement of a supervisor as a co-author is appropriate if the supervisor meets the criteria for authorship as stated in the the Authorship guide.

(11) 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

(12) 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.


(13) 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.

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

Acknowledging contributors

(15) 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.

(16) Where the research output contains First Nations knowledge obtained from unpublished manuscripts or recordings, the contribution should be approved and acknowledged in accordance with the Authorship 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

(17) 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.

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

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

(20) 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.

(21) Where an author or contributor cannot be contacted, this must be acknowledged when the research output is published. All the co-authors must still have confidence in the accuracy and integrity of that author’s contribution or it should not be included.

Process to determine authorship and author order

(22) 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.

(23) 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.

Institutional affiliation

(24) 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.

(25) 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.

(26) 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.

(27) 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

(28) 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 on authorship

(29) 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.

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

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

(32) 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.

(33) 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.

(34) 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.

Part C - Publication and Dissemination

(35) The University is committed to promoting open and transparent research to maximise the benefits of research, increase innovation, encourage collaboration and improve community engagement.

Responsibilities of Researchers

(36) Researchers are responsible for undertaking training in dissemination and publication of research provided by the University’s Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies, Library and within their faculty and/or research institute.

(37) 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 they are accepted for publication.

(38) Researchers must remain aware of their obligations under the Code, specifically ensuring that research findings are disseminated responsibly and accurately, and action taken, where necessary, to correct the record in a timely manner.

(39) When preparing to publish and disseminate their findings, researchers should consider the following:

  1. timely communication to the widest appropriate audience in forms that are accessible to that audience
  2. independent peer review and consider whether preprints pending peer review are appropriate 
  3. adherence to any confidentiality, privacy, ethical, contractual or funding restrictions, including those concerning intellectual property
  4. identification and management of potential misuse or unintended consequences of research findings or outcomes, and
  5. management of research data and information in accordance with the Research Data Management Procedure.

(40) Researchers must ensure publications and disseminated research outputs:

  1. accurately report on methodology, data and findings, that are consistent with international guidelines and conventions appropriate to the relevant discipline/s
  2. present conclusions justified by the results and acknowledge any limitations in their findings appropriately
  3. disclose any potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interest
  4. cite and prepare work in accordance with this procedure
  5. inform on all sources of financial and in-kind support for the research
  6. acknowledge host institutions, funding bodies, partner institutions, collaborators and sponsors
  7. include the researchers’ Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)
  8. be presented in a format that is culturally appropriate and acceptable, where the research affects or is of particular significance to First Nations peoples and communities, and
  9. include correct affiliation as a University-authored publication.

Communicating research outputs

(41) Researchers will disseminate and publish research outcomes (including relevant negative results and findings contrary to any stated hypothesis) widely and to all appropriate audiences.

(42) When deciding where to publish their results, researchers should consult the University Library's ‘Where to publish’ guidance regarding avoiding predatory publishers. 

(43) Researchers must carefully consider the most effective way to communicate research findings in a public forum by:

  1. only discussing research findings that have been tested through peer review. Exceptions include presentation of research in progress or before publication on a public server as a preprint, at professional conferences, in submissions to public or parliamentary enquiries or other forums to inform public policy, to comply with contractual obligations, and when it is in the national interest or in the context of a public health crisis. In these circumstances, the status of the project should be explained in discussion of the findings
  2. where applicable, presenting research findings with commercial elements, contractual obligations and patent requirements to a stock exchange, a financial body, a sponsor or investors before public release
  3. complying with any restrictions on communications that have been agreed with the research sponsor, and
  4. complying with the University's Communications and Marketing Policy and procedures.

Multiple submissions or republishing of research outputs

(44) Fragmented publication, plagiarism, self-plagiarism and under-reporting of research are not permitted.

(45) Researchers will not disseminate multiple research outputs that are substantially similar, unless disclosed to the publisher at the time of submission and appropriately cited to prevent the effect of portraying previously presented ideas or data as new.

(46) Prior to republishing their own or other’s research outputs, researchers must take all reasonable steps to obtain permission from the original publisher or copyright owner, taking into account any relevant legal agreements.

Reporting of research publications and open access

(47) All research outputs will be reported by the researcher for the purposes of the assessment and display via the University's enterprise publications management platform and a copy of the output deposited in CRO - CSU Research Output portal, in accordance with the Research Policy. Research outputs deposited will be openly accessible, unless restricted by copyright law, publisher policy or embargo.

(48) Researchers must adhere to the relevant open access policies of funding bodies, including the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council open access policies.  Other funders may have specific requirements regarding Open Access, and it is important for researchers to understand these.

(49) Where possible, researchers should publish or allow interested parties to access or refer to research data, survey instruments, coding manuals and the tools and resources that supported analysis of research data.

Breach allegations 

(50) Allegations of breaches of the Code regarding dissemination and/or publication will be managed in accordance with the Research Misconduct Procedure.

(51) Researchers will correct or retract the public record and CRO entry in relation to any errors, misleading or inaccurate statements in their research. The University will undertake this, if required.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(52) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(53) For the purpose of this procedure:

  1. Authorship guide – means the Authorship guidance to Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research published by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
  2. Disseminated/Dissemination – means research made publicly available via any source of media including, journals, books, conference, scholarly communications networks, performances, exhibitions, tv or radio interviews. It does not include research disseminated internally within the University.
  3. Duplicate publication – means publication of a paper that overlaps substantially with one already published in print or electronic media.
  4. Fragmented publication – means the intentional dividing of a coherent research report into smaller, publishable reports to create the (false) impression of extensive productivity.
  5. Open Access – means to the availability of research outputs via the internet, such that any user can find, freely access, read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, link, crawl, mine and otherwise use and reuse the research outputs both manually and using automated tools. Any use or reuse is subject to full and proper attribution, and usually will have an appropriate licence, such as any of the options available through the Creative Commons suite of licences and should not infringe any copyrights to third-party material included in the Research Output. (see NHMRC open access policy). 
  6. Peer review – means, as defined by the Code, “the impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field.”
  7. Plagiarism - means presenting the work or property of another person as one’s own, without appropriate acknowledgement of the other person’s work.
  8. Self-plagiarism – means presenting or reusing your own previously written work or data, without appropriate citation to the original work.
  9. Republishing – means presenting previously published work again or anew.
  10. Research Output – means that which 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.

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