Authorship Dispute Resolution Procedure (MPF1039)

  • Category: Research and Research Training
  • Review due by: December 31, 2015
  • Version: 1
  • Approved on: April 11, 2013
  • Effective date: April 11, 2013
  • Status: Published

GOVERNING POLICY

This procedure is made under the University of Melbourne Authorship Policy.

SCOPE

Resolution of authorship disputes such as disagreement over relative contributions for authorship, author inclusion, author exclusion and author order for research outputs where the authors are students, staff, honorary staff or visitors of the University of Melbourne.

PROCEDURE

1.    Authorship disputes for research outputs such as disagreement over the relative contributions of authors, author inclusion, author exclusion or author order can occur. Authorship disputes may be avoided by following the University of Melbourne Authorship Policy and the Authorship Procedure.

2.    Parties to an authorship dispute shall make all reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute in a fair, consistent, clearly communicated and timely manner.

3.    Legal representation for any party to an authorship dispute is not permitted.

4.    At meetings that attempt resolution of an authorship dispute, one support person may accompany each party to the dispute.

5.    Resolution of authorship disputes can be difficult, particularly for more junior researchers and students. Researchers involved in an authorship dispute are encouraged to seek advice from Research Integrity Advisors in the first instance. Student researchers are also encouraged to seek advice from student advocates. Additional information regarding authorship dispute resolution is available from the University of Melbourne Office for Research Ethics and Integrity

6.    The resolution of the dispute shall be based on evidence of author contribution. In attempting to resolve an authorship dispute, parties shall consider the following information.

6.1.    A copy of the authorship agreement, the Template Authorship Record Form or informal written documentation such as email correspondence.

6.2.    Copies of any key documentation to show how each of the authors may have made a significant intellectual contribution to the research output.

6.3.    A list of all those believed to be valid authors, and why.

6.4.    A list of those believed to have contributed to the paper and who should be acknowledged (without being an author), and why.

Authorship dispute resolution process

7.    Researchers involved in the research output should first attempt to resolve the authorship dispute and reach an agreement through direct dialogue with each other.

8.    Resolution achieved by direct dialogue must be agreed upon by all researchers involved in the dispute.

8.1.    A record of authorship dispute discussions and any agreement reached should be made and kept by the researchers involved in the dispute.

8.2.    If there is a change in authorship after resolution of the dispute this change should be agreed upon by all authors and recorded. This record shall be kept by the corresponding author.

8.3.    The dispute should be resolved within twenty working days from initiation of dispute resolution.

9.    If the authorship dispute cannot be resolved by direct dialogue or resolution has taken longer than twenty working days, the dispute should be referred in writing to the Senior Academic as indicated in the relevant Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship.

10.  The Senior Academic shall attempt to resolve the dispute by mediation. Where in the opinion of the Senior Academic the dispute might represent a significant deviation from accepted practice the dispute shall be referred to the Office for Research Ethics and Integrity.

10.1.  Where an authorship dispute involves the Senior Academic as indicated in the relevant Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship, mediation should be conducted by a Senior Academic from a similar, but different discipline at the University of Melbourne, as agreed by the majority of researchers involved in the dispute.

11.  Resolution achieved by mediation must be agreed upon by all researchers involved in the dispute.

11.1.  A record of authorship dispute discussions and any agreement reached should be made and kept by the Senior Academic and the researchers involved in the dispute.

11.2.  If there is a change in authorship after resolution of the dispute this change should be agreed upon by all authors and recorded. This record shall be kept by the corresponding author.

11.3.  The dispute should be resolved within twenty working days from initiation of dispute resolution by mediation. 

12.  If the authorship dispute cannot be resolved by mediation, or resolution has taken longer than twenty working days, the dispute should be referred in writing to the Office for Research Ethics and Integrity.

SCHEDULES

  • Schedule / Attachment A – Authorship Dispute Resolution Procedure Flowchart

RELATED DOCUMENTS

DEFINITIONS

Term

Definition

Author

An individual or writing group that has made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output and is willing to be responsible for that contribution as described in the University of Melbourne Authorship Policy.

Corresponding author

As defined in the University of Melbourne Authorship Policy. Where there is more than one author of a research output, at least one co-author (by agreement amongst the authors) should be nominated as the corresponding author. The corresponding author is at least responsible for communication between the publishers and managing communication between the co-authors. The corresponding author must maintain records of authorship agreement.

Research Output

A research output can be any thing in hardcopy, electronic or other form that communicates or makes available the products of research. Example research outputs include journal article, book chapter, book, report, performance or exhibition.

Researcher

Student, staff, honorary staff or visitor engaged in research at the University of Melbourne.

Senior Academic

As indicated in the relevant Faculty or Graduate School Guidelines for Authorship. An experienced research leader (for example the Associate Dean (Research) or Head of Department) that is to mediate the dispute.

RESPONSIBLE OFFICER

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) is responsible for the development, compliance monitoring and review of this procedure and any associated guidelines.

IMPLEMENTATION OFFICER

The Director, Office for Research Ethics and Integrity is responsible for the promulgation and implementation of this procedure in accordance with the scope outlined above. Enquiries about interpretation of this procedure should be directed to the implementation officer.

REVIEW

This procedure is to be reviewed by 31 December 2015.

VERSION HISTORY

Version

Approved By

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections Modified

1

Academic Board 29 April 2013

29 April 2013

N/A

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