Authorship Procedure (MPF1041)

  • Category: Research and Research Training
  • Review due by: December 31, 2015
  • Version: 2
  • Policy Steward: Director, Office for Research Ethics and Integrity
  • Approved on: December 1, 2021
  • Effective date: December 3, 2021
  • Policy Approver:
  • Status: Published


This procedure is made under the Authorship Policy.


This procedure outlines practice relating to reaching and recording agreement about authorship of research outputs for students, staff, honorary staff and visitors of the University of Melbourne engaged in research.


1.    The Principles of Authorship are:

1.1.    Authorship must only recognise a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output.

1.2.    An author is responsible for the integrity and accurate reporting of at least their significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to a research output.

1.3.    The University considers that authorship (i.) must be an honest reflection of contribution to research, (ii.) should be assigned fairly and consistently, (iii.) should be communicated clearly and transparently between contributors to the research, and (iv.) should be approached with a generosity of spirit whilst remaining true to the policy requirements. For example, a research assistant who has generated data under direction could be given the opportunity to analyse and interpret the data for publication so as to qualify as an author. Conversely, where a researcher is offered authorship, but does not consider that their contribution was a significant intellectual one, this offer of authorship should be declined.

2.    Researchers should be fully aware of the requirements and responsibilities of authorship.

2.1.    Refer to the University Authorship Policy and the appropriate Faculty or Graduate School Guideline for Authorship for more information.

3.    Researchers are encouraged to discuss authorship between potential co-authors and contributors to research outputs at the beginning the research and as soon as circumstances in collaborations or the research change. 

4.    Authorship discussions can be informal, but should include all potential co-authors, and cover basic and discipline-specific aspects of authorship.

4.1.    Example topics include: the expectations of individuals and the collaboration, the expected outcomes from the research, the probable research outputs that will be generated, the roles and interests of researchers who will contribute to the work, who will be an author and corresponding author, the author order, who will be senior author, the sharing of equal co-authorship.

5.    Researchers are encouraged to keep a record of these discussions on the understanding that changes in authorship over the course of research are likely. Copies of correspondence, for example emails that outline the discussions and decisions made, can serve as this record. This record should be made available to all researchers involved in the research.

5.1.    A Template Authorship Record Form provided by the Office for Research Ethics and Integrity (Schedule/Attachment A) can be used as a guide and as a record of discussions about authorship.

6.    During drafting, submission and finalisation of the research output, authors should respond to communications about the research output in a timely manner. The interpretation of timeliness will depend on the size and nature of the research output.

7.    All authors must agree on the authorship for the research output in writing prior to peer review for refereed research outputs or appearance on the public record for non-refereed research outputs. All authors of research outputs are required to describe their contribution to the research output in writing. This is the authorship agreement. An authorship agreement can be recorded by email correspondence, or by using the Template Authorship Record Form (Schedule/Attachment A) provided by the Office for Research Ethics and Integrity or the record of authorship agreement required by some publishers.

8.    The corresponding author must keep written records of authorship agreements for at least five years and in accordance with the relevant Research Data and Records Policy.

9.    Failure to reach agreement for authorship on a research output may be grounds to initiate an authorship dispute. For example, if agreement for authorship cannot be reached in a timely manner. Any authorship dispute should be resolved in accordance with the Authorship Dispute Resolution Procedure.


  • Schedule / Attachment A – Template Authorship Record Form






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.


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


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


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.


This procedure is to be reviewed by 31 December 2015.



Approved By

Approval Date

Effective Date

Sections Modified


Academic Board

29 April 2013

29 April 2013


2 Academic Board 1 December 2021 3 December 2021 Added Template Authorship Record Form to related documents.