Authorship Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: Director of Research
  • Policy category: Academic: Research
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Academic Board
  • Endorsement body: Research Committee
  • Last amended: 11th May 2023
  • Relevant HESF: Part A: 4.1.1 a - e


The purpose of this policy to define authorship as it applies to the publication of research by faculty, HDR candidates, and anyone else engaged in research at Alphacrucis University College (AC).


Whole of AC.



Authorship signifies a person’s substantial intellectual contribution to, and responsibility for, a research output. Authorship must be:

  • An honest reflection of contribution to the research output;
  • Assigned fairly and consistently; and
  • Communicated clearly and transparently between contributors to the output.


Authorship criteria

Attribution of authorship can vary according to disciplines. But in all cases it must be based on a substantive contribution to at least one, and usually more than one, of the following activities:

  • Conception and design of the project;
  • Acquisition of research data where the acquisition has required significant intellectual judgment or input;
  • Analysis and interpretation of the research data;
  • Drafting significant parts of the research output or critically reviewing it in a way that substantively contributes to the interpretation.

Authorship must be offered to anyone who meets these requirements. A person who qualifies as an author must not be included or excluded without their written agreement. A record of this agreement must be kept by the collaborating researchers. (A written agreement for exclusion is not required in disciplines where supervisors of HDR students are not typically included as authors on research outputs by student researchers.)


Unacceptable authorship inclusions

Authorship must not be attributed when a researcher has not made a substantive intellectual contribution to a research output. Contributions made solely through the provision of funding or the provision of technical support, technical advice or technical assistance are not considered to meet the criteria for authorship. Such contributions to the research output should be duly recognised by acknowledgement where this is appropriate.



An author of a research output is accountable for the whole research output, and is directly responsible for the accuracy and integrity of their own contribution to the research output.

All authors have a responsibility to ensure that all contributors to the research output are properly recognised.

All authors have a responsibility to attempt to resolve and/or co-operate in any process undertaken to resolve a dispute regarding authorship.

Responsible for implementation

Director of Research




Collaborating researchers must each agree, at an early stage in the collaboration, on their status as authors of any publication resulting from the research project. The agreement should be in writing and should include:

  • identification of those who will be recognised as authors;
  • a description of the contribution of each author; and
  • an indication of the order in which the authors will appear on the research output.


Authorship disputes


Where agreement on acknowledgement, attribution or ordering of authorship cannot be achieved prior to publication, collaborating authors must reconsider the applicable disciplinary principles and authorship criteria, and take all reasonable steps to attempt to resolve the matter themselves. Where agreement remains unresolved, disputing parties must seek assistance from Research Committee. Research Committee may appoint a senior academic to mediate the dispute.


Where authorship is in dispute and publication has already occurred, disputing parties must seek assistance from Research Committee. Research Committee may appoint a senior academic to mediate the dispute. If the dispute cannot be resolved, the Breach of Code of Conduct Procedures should be followed to determine whether a breach of the Code has occurred.