The australian code for the responsible conduct of


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A brief introduction to Section 5: Authorship of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

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The australian code for the responsible conduct of

  1. 1. The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research: Academic authorship Dr Merilyn Childs Associate Professor Learning Teaching & Curriculum University of Wollongong 12/06/2014
  2. 2. Introduction As academics develop their careers, they are likely to confront issues associated with academic integrity as it relates to publishing & attributing authorship. I know I did. This presentation aims to locate these issues within a governance framework in the Australian context: The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
  3. 3. All images used in this presentation are by the amazing: When the term “academic integrity” is used, more often than not it is used to refer to students . But “academic integrity” also applies to the work of academics. This includes behaviour related to publishing.
  4. 4. The assignment of authorship is not a personal, local matter. It is a serious matter concerning academic integrity, and is governed by The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, Section 5: Authorship.
  5. 5. The Code states that attribution of authorship depends to some extent on the discipline, but in all cases authorship must be based on substantial contributions in a combination of: • 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
  6. 6. It is critical to note that “the right to authorship is not tied to position or profession and does not depend on whether the contribution was paid for or voluntary. It is not enough to have provided materials or routine technical support, or to have made the measurements on which the publication is based. Substantial intellectual involvement is required”.
  7. 7. Those who make a contribution have a right to attribution.
  8. 8. It’s the responsibility of collaborating researchers to “agree on authorship of a publication at an early stage in the research project and should review their decisions periodically.” Authorship: Section 5.3.
  9. 9. Authorship should not be offered to those who do not meet the requirements set out by the Code. Authorship Section 5.5 Do not allow unacceptable inclusions of authorship
  10. 10. For example, none of the following contributions, in and of themselves, justifies including a person as an author: • being head of department, holding other positions of authority, or personal friendship with the authors • providing a technical contribution but no other intellectual input to the project or publication • providing routine assistance in some aspects of the project, the acquisition of funding or general supervision of the research team • providing data that has already been published or materials obtained from third parties, but with no other intellectual input. Authorship Section 5.5 Do not allow unacceptable inclusions of authorship
  11. 11. Research managers/directors, professors (who may be indirectly involved), grant winners or those in power must meet the standard outlined by the Code to be included as co-authors. They do not have a right to honorary authorship (Moffatt 2011) or attribution if they do not meet the standard.
  12. 12. See if your institution has a Statement of Authorship based on the Code. Invent one if it doesn’t.
  13. 13. Conflict about attribution should be anticipated as “disagreements often happen” (Dance, 2012). Write into your research and ethics applications that the Code will be adhered to, including alignment with Section 5 Authorship. Do not assume that names on a research grant will be the same as names on a publication!
  14. 14. It may seem tempting to reward a senior academic who lent their name to a research grant with a publication or two. This is a breach of the Code if they are attributed without meeting the standard. Rule of thumb? “ Authorship should be earned rather than offered” (Drenth 1998 in Hundley et al 2013, p.98). The “consequences of…gift authorship can be serious” (Street et al 2010, p.1458). Indeed, it is a form of academic misconduct.
  15. 15. There are other important aspects of the Code, Section 5 Authorship: responsibilities for institutions (5.1) and responsibilities for researchers (5.2-5.8).
  16. 16. Academics have a responsibility to: • Earn authorship • Not accept honorary or ‘gift’ authorship for any reason • Protect research and researchers from potential breaches of the Code • Value academic integrity • Advocate for institutional alignment with the Code Institutions could also: • Ensure widespread understanding of the Code • Initiate a “red flags” approach to ERA and HERDC reporting to identify possible breaches of the Code • Ensure a safe workplace for early and middle career researchers in support of the Code • Routinely report efforts to align with the Code
  17. 17. References Dance, A. (2012). Authorship: Who’s on first? Nature, 489. pp. 591-593. Hundley, V., van Teijlingen., & Simkhada P. (2013). Academic authorship: who, why and in what order? Guest editorial, Health Renaissance, 11(2), pp.98-101. Moffatt, B. (2011). Responsible authorship: why researchers must forgo honorary authorship. Accountability in Research: Polices and Quality Assurance, 18(2), pp. 76-90. Street, J.M., Rogers, W.A., Israel, M., & Braunack-Mayer. (2010). Credit where credit is due? Regulation, research integrity and the attribution of authorship in the health sciences”, Social Sciences and Medicine, 70(9), pp.1458-1465. Acknowledgment: All images used in this presentation were designed by the amazing