These guidelines seek to ensure that authorship of research outputs by staff and students meets high ethical standards, consistent with international best practice. It is intended to ensure that all contributing and participating authors of a published work receive the appropriate level of recognition for their work.
Authorship is a way of assigning responsibility for intellectual work and contribution to research outputs, and a way of giving credit for academic work. Authorship is important to the career development and reputation of individuals and to the reputation of the University.
- Authorship credit
- Original research
- Procedure for dispute resolution
- University affiliation
Many organisations, including journals and research institutions, have established standards and guidelines relating to authorship. University staff and students are required to follow the authorship standards and guidelines of the relevant journal, publisher or organisation when preparing and submitting material for publication.
In addition, staff and students are to be guided by the Vancouver Guidelines that are published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
The Vancouver Guidelines specify that all listed authors should have made a significant contribution to the work.
Authorship credit should be based on:
- “substantial contributions to conception and design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work AND
- drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content AND
- final approval of the version to be published AND
- agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.”
- Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, 3 and 4
- All people who meet conditions 1, 2, 3 and 4 should be listed as authors
- Acquisition of funding, collection of data, provision of routine technical help, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship
- All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgements section, and their function or contribution should be described, for example “collected data”, “provided writing assistance”, “served as scientific advisors”
- One author must be responsible for the entire publication and should ensure that other authors accept, in writing, responsibility either for the entire research output or, where the contributions are distinguishable, for that part of it which they have authored
All University staff and students are strongly encouraged to agree on the authorship of any research outputs that result from collaborative research, prior to undertaking the research. Preferably, agreement should be recorded in writing, and staff may choose to use the University’s Authorship Agreement Form to do so.
Prior agreement is especially important in the case of collaborative research with staff of other institutions, as there is often very little recourse if a dispute over authorship of a research output arises in these cases.
When both staff and students are involved in research or the preparation of a research output, it is the responsibility of the staff member to clarify with the student the terms of their role, including whether the student will be acknowledged as an author on any resulting publications.
This clarification should be made at the outset, prior to the research or work being undertaken, and staff may choose to use the Authorship Agreement Form to record the clarification.
Determination about whether a student should be acknowledged as an author should be made in accordance with the Vancouver Guidelines, as set out above.
The staff member, rather than the student, should be the corresponding author with the publisher.
The Doctoral Handbook and Masters Handbook provide further advice relating to publishing thesis results, including authorship issues.
A publication which is substantially similar to other publications derived from the same research must contain an appropriate reference to the other publications. At the time of submission, staff and students must disclose to the publisher any substantially similar work which has previously been submitted for publication or is being submitted to another publisher at the same time.
Only original research should be submitted for publication. In some disciplines, material that has been made available on the internet or at conferences is considered to be published. Therefore, staff and students are encouraged to be careful about the dissemination of their research findings, to ensure they are able to publish and communicate results through the best possible means.
The University recognises that many masters and doctoral candidates have their work scrutinised by third parties, including professional editors. Guidelines about the appropriate extent of the role of third parties are available in the Third Party Editing and Proofreading of Theses and Dissertations Guidelines, available from the School of Graduate Studies.
It is important to acknowledge the work of others through a standard citation system so that readers can identify the contribution of the author or authors in the context of previous work. The following are considered to be misconduct in research:
- Plagiarism, including the direct copying of textual material, the use of other people’s data without acknowledgement and the deliberate use of published or unpublished ideas from other people without adequate attribution;
- Misleading ascription of authorship, including the listing of authors without their permission, attributing work to others who have not contributed to the research, and failing to acknowledge work primarily produced by a research student/trainee/associate.
In their research outputs, all staff and students of the University should acknowledge the University of Auckland as the institution to which they are affiliated. An institute, centre, department, school or faculty may also be listed. Those with conjoint, honorary or adjunct appointments should acknowledge the University where appropriate.
Procedure for dispute resolution
In the event of a dispute regarding authorship, staff should refer to the process set out in the Staff Research Misconduct Policy.
In the case of disputes involving graduate students, staff and students should refer to the Resolution of Student Academic Complaints and Disputes Statute.
 International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2013), Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, available from www.icmje.org
The following definitions apply to these guidelines:
Research output includes books, book sections or chapters, journal articles, conference contributions, papers, reports, creative outputs, performances, presentations and software. It also includes informal research outputs such as newspaper, newsletter or media articles that report on research findings. It does not include masters or doctoral theses (which are covered by the Guide to Theses and Dissertations)
Staff includes all people employed by the University whether permanent, temporary or part time
University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries