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Monash University Policy Bank

Research Outputs and Authorship Policy


The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Clarify criteria for attribution of authorship of all research outputs contributed to by Monash University staff and students;
  • Ensure that appropriate steps to confirm authorship are taken prior to submission for publication; and
  • Ensure that researchers appropriately attribute research outputs to ‘Monash University’.


All research outputs, including traditional publications, such as journal articles, books, chapters and conference papers, as well as web-based publications, multi-media, works of art, performances, software and compositions;

All Monash staff (including academic, adjunct and professional staff) and students.

This policy does not address ownership of intellectual property, authorship of copyright works owned by the University, or inventions or patents, all of which are dealt with in the University’s Intellectual Property Statute and Regulations.

This policy does not apply to higher degree by research theses insofar as these are submitted to fulfil requirements for examination and award of a higher degree by research. However this policy applies to published or unpublished papers that may form part of a higher degree by research thesis by publication. Specific provisions in relation to this and to the thesis itself can be found in the Handbook for Doctoral and MPhil Degrees, Section 7.

While the Code applies to collaborative research across institutions and to joint authorship involving non-Monash authors, this policy can only apply to Monash staff and students. However, Monash staff and students engaged in cross-institutional collaborative research and other joint authorship activities must meet the requirements of this policy concerning proper acknowledgement and treatment of all authors of a research publication.

Policy Statement

Attribution of authorship

The attribution and confirmation of authorship for every research output involving a Monash author is a necessary and important part of the pre-publication stage of each work, whether the work is single or multi-authored. The fulfilment of this requirement at Monash University involves a combination of pre-publication and post-publication steps, including:

  • training and awareness-raising amongst all authors and supervisors of their responsibilities in relation to authorship;
  • confirmation of authorship for all research outputs;
  • maintenance of complete authorship records for all research outputs by individual authors/executive authors;
  • annual monitoring of compliance. 

While attribution of authorship depends to some extent on the discipline, in all cases authorship must be based on making a substantial intellectual contribution to the work described and taking sole or joint responsibility for that contribution or, where appropriate, the work as a whole. Accordingly, authorship must be based upon a substantial contribution and responsibility for at least one, and usually more than one, of the following activities:

  • Conception and design of the project;
  • Analysis and interpretation of research data;
  • Drafting significant parts of the work or critically revising it so as to contribute to the interpretation.

Monash University recognises that individuals may also make significant contributions to a research output through significant or non-routine collection of data. Where this activity contributes to the intellectual shaping of a research output authorship may be appropriate.


Higher degree by research students may publish research outputs from their supervised work. In cases where their supervisor has participated in substantially conceiving, executing or interpreting some or all of the work in a way that meets the designated authorship criteria, the supervisor has the right to become a co-author of any such works.


Sometimes the editor of a significant collective work or anthology has responsibilities analogous to those listed above for authorship – in these cases similar criteria apply to ‘editor’ as ‘author’. However, the term editor should be applied only to a person who has played a significant role in the intellectual shaping of a publication.


Unacceptable inclusions of authorship

The following activities do not by themselves constitute a claim to authorship without substantial intellectual contribution to the work:

  • Being head of department, holding other positions of authority, or personal friendship with the authors;
  • Providing a routine technical contribution;
  • Providing routine assistance in some aspects of the project;
  • Acquisition of funding;
  • General supervision of the research team;
  • Providing data that has already been published or materials obtained from third parties (including the routine collation and provision of research source material).

Acknowledgement of contributors

All those who have otherwise contributed to the research (see authorship attribution criteria above), such as research assistants, technical writers, and research degree students have the right to be properly acknowledged.


Attribution of research output affiliation

In order that Monash University achievements and investment in research receive appropriate acknowledgement and contribute to all relevant measures of performance Monash must be attributed as the institution of affiliation by all Monash staff and students, and by joint, conjoint and adjunct appointments where appropriate (see Research Outputs and Authorship Procedures for details). This should be the case whenever the work was conducted at Monash University, even if an author/creator has subsequently left the institution, as the meaningful institutional support of both past and current university employers can count for some reporting purposes and is good research practice.


Declaration of interests in research output

Authors must be aware that perceived or real conflicts of interest (for example, sources of funding or other commercial interests or affiliations) may interfere with the perceived integrity of the research findings of Monash University. Therefore, in the confirmation of authorship, all authors must take responsibility for declaring any potential or actual conflict of interest according to the Conduct and Compliance Policy - Conflict of Interest Procedure.

Supporting procedures

Research Outputs and Authorship Procedures

Supporting guidelines

Responsibility for implementation

Monash authors and executive authors
Supervisors of authors
Higher degree by research supervisors
Higher degree by research students
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training)



Key Stakeholders

Monash Research Office
Monash Research Graduate School
Heads of academic/administrative units and controlled entities
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Training)
Pro Vice-Chancellors (Campuses)

Approval body

Name: Academic Board
Meeting: 6/2009
Date: 25-November-2009
Agenda item: 17.2

Endorsement body

Name: Monash Research Committee
Meeting: 7/10
Date: 26-October-2010
Agenda item: 6.1


Research: the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, understandings, and applications (DIISR, ARC definition). In recognition of the varieties of forms of research across academic disciplines, research includes academic work of discovery and application that is ‘of direct relevance to the needs of commerce, industry, and to the public and voluntary sectors; scholarship; the invention and generation of ideas, images, and performances, artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially improved insights, and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes, including design and construction’ (UK RAE research definition).

A Research Output: is a publicly available outcome of research and can include any of the above in addition to works of art (sculpture, fine art), performances, compositions, books and book chapters, journal articles and conference papers

Author: The creator, single or joint, of any research output, who has made a substantial intellectual contribution to its creation

Executive Author: Senior or corresponding author, that is the author responsible for liaison with publishers, communication with all authors and contributors and the maintenance of all records concerning authorship

Related legislation

Statute 11.2 - Intellectual Property

Related policies

Conduct and Compliance Policy - Conflict of Interest Procedure

Related documents

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2007 

Monash University Guidelines, Higher Education Research Data Collection 

Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of Handbook for Doctoral and MPhil Degrees

(, and

Declaration of Authorship for Theses Based or Partially Based on Conjointly Published or Unpublished Work

Date Effective


Review Date



Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)


Policy Officer, Office of the DVC (R)

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