Procedure: Authorship disputes
To address disputes over the inclusion, exclusion or order of potential authors which sometimes arise, especially where an informal approach to authorship has been adopted. Disputes between ANU authors and other institutions will be resolved by the principal author’s institution following the guidelines of the corresponding external institution, failing which the matter may be referred to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) or their delegate.
Resolution at the local level
- An attempt should be made to resolve any conflicts between authors about authorship of a work at the local level.
- When considering resolution at a local level, the practice within the discipline and the requirements of the publisher must be taken into account. For resolution in general there are a number of options for authorship dispute resolution:
- All valid authors agree on the authorship, including order of authorship, in which case the paper can be published.
- If one or more individuals do not met the authorship criteria outlined in the ANU policies Responsible Conduct of Research and Code of Research Conduct, they should not be included as authors but their contribution to the work must be fully acknowledged in the Acknowledgements section of the paper.
- If the valid authors cannot agree on the content or authorship of the paper, then the paper cannot be published in its current form. However, if all the authors cannot agree, then it may be possible to break the paper down into sections where there is agreement, or where the contribution of individuals (or subgroups of the authors) might be published separately.
- It should be noted that a person who meets the authorship criteria outlined in ANU policies Responsible Conduct of Research and Code of Research Conduct cannot be excluded as an author without their written permission.
Disputes not able to be resolved at a local level
- Disputes between authors which cannot be resolved by the persons concerned should be referred to a Research Integrity Advisor who will attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation in confidence. Referral to a Research Integrity Adviser may be made to a Research Integrity Adviser outside the College in which the dispute has occurred. Research Integrity Advisers can be found at: https://researchservices.anu.edu.au/ori/responsible/index.php
- If the dispute remains unresolved, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) or their delegate should be approached for a determination.
- In making a determination, Research Integrity Advisers or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor may request the following information:
- A copy of the completed ANU Authorship form or relevant email confirmations or other written communications on Authorship.
- Copies of key documentation to show how each of the authors may have made a substantial contribution in at least one of: conception and design, collection of data, analysis and interpretation of data or drafting the article or revising it critically so as to contribute to the interpretation.
- How each of the authors have given final approval of the version to be published.
- A list of those determined to be valid authors and why.
- A list of those believed to have contributed to the publication and who should be acknowledged (without being an author) and why.
Authorship disputes as breaches of the ANU Policy: Responsible Practice of Research
- A dispute between authors does not constitute an allegation of research misconduct, unless it is alleged there has been an intentional and reckless breach of the following ANU policies Responsible Conduct of Research and Code of Research Conduct.
- The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) may determine that an authorship dispute should be dealt with as a breach of ANU policies including Responsible Conduct of Research and Code of Research Conduct, or research misconduct or other appropriate misconduct process.