Authorship Guidelines for AIFS Research Outputs

Content type
Corporate publication

November 2023

These guidelines outline eligibility for, and responsibilities of, authorship of research outputs at AIFS. This procedure is aligned to the APS Code of Conduct and Values, Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 and its supporting guide on authorship.

These guidelines are effective from 20 November 2023.

Responsible authorship

Responsible authorship

Authorship recognises significant intellectual and scholarly contributions to research in a responsible, respectful, consistent and fair manner.

Authorship will:

  • honestly reflect contributions to research
  • fairly and consistently recognise those contributions
  • be communicated clearly and transparently between those who contribute to the research.

Researchers are required to discuss, agree and document authorship in accordance with these guidelines as soon as is practically possible. 

A person is listed as an author of a research output only when:

  • they have made a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to the research described in the research output (further detail under Authorship eligibility)
  • are willing to be accountable for their contribution
  • agree to be listed as an author.

Researchers should acknowledge all contributors and contributions to the research described in the research output, including where these contributions do not meet the criteria for authorship (see the Acknowledgement section).

Researchers must name AIFS as their affiliation where a part of the research was conducted at AIFS or with AIFS support, and may list multiple affiliations, as appropriate.

The term ‘researcher’ in this document refers to both AIFS and non-AIFS personnel who have contributed to an AIFS project.
Publications and research outputs are formal disseminations of research findings in a public forum whether in hardcopy, electronic, web-based, or other tangible forms. It includes refereed and non-refereed books, book chapters and journal articles, conference proceedings, creative works, technical papers, performances, other scholarly works, and web-based publications including personal or professional blogs. It does not include a student or research candidate thesis. 

Authorship eligibility

Authorship eligibility

To qualify for authorship, a person must make a significant scholarly contribution (including through Indigenous knowledge) to the intellectual shaping of a research output by:

  • significantly participating throughout in the conception and design of the project
  • acquiring research data where that acquisition requires significant intellectual judgement, planning, or design
  • significant management of research data (for example, study design input, coding, cleaning, preparation for analysis)
  • analysing and interpreting research data
  • drafting/writing significant parts of the work or critically revising it so as to contribute to the interpretation.

Contributors who make a substantive contribution to at least 2 of the 5 criteria above will qualify as authors.

In addition, they should also contribute by taking responsibility for the integrity and accuracy of, and be accountable for, at least their contribution to the output.

Agreeing authorship

Agreeing authorship

A contributor who qualifies as an author will not be included as an author without their written permission. If a contributor disputes the recognition of their contribution, they will follow the dispute resolution procedures (see Disputes).

Research teams will discuss authorship in the initial stages of planning a publication, and at a minimum again at the stage of finalising outputs, to ensure that contributions from members of the research team are appropriately identified and acknowledged. Contributors will agree on authorship in writing (for example, in an email, in a project plan, in a transcript of a meeting or in an authorship plan/agreement). See Appendix A: Authorship agreement for details of what should be included in an authorship agreement and an example template.

All authors must consent to be named as an author. If a contributor does not consent to be an author, consider an acknowledgment.

Where there is agreement to authorship with an AIFS employee who subsequently departs the project prior to completion, a follow up discussion will be undertaken prior to finalisation of the outputs to determine if there has been a change in authorship eligibility (for example, a significant reconceptualisation where any subsequent material developed was not used), If the author cannot be contacted following reasonable efforts, they will not be included as an author.

When there are 2 or more authors, and it is agreed at the outset that the work has joint authorship, the order in which the authors’ names should appear on the work will be discussed and agreed by the authors prior to finalisation of the outputs. The order should be based on the ‘substantive contribution’ made by each author (noting this is not necessarily quantitative).

When agreeing to authorship, each author will declare any potential or actual conflicts of interest (for example, funding sources, supervisory or personal relationships, memberships, consultancies). If a conflict of interest arises following the agreement of authorship, the author will declare their conflict to the other authors and any other relevant parties such as funding bodies and publishers.

A corresponding author will be appointed for research outputs being submitted to a journal or similar. They do not hold a particular place in the order of authorship but would usually be in a senior role at AIFS. Corresponding authors are responsible for communication to the journal and manuscript preparation, submission, peer review and publication processes and documenting authorship agreement. The corresponding author will also update authorship agreements and retain this documentation for the minimum retention period of the research output.



Authors will fully acknowledge all people contributing to the research who are not authors (as per Authorship eligibility). This includes but is not limited to: 

  • research assistance
  • technical support
  • editing
  • translation
  • transcription
  • advisory or lived experience groups.

Where authors plan to acknowledge a contributor, they will aim to record the individual’s written consent.

Research outputs will appropriately acknowledge all sources of financial and in-kind support for the research, such as access provided to research facilities, and acknowledge funding bodies in line with their requirements.

Authors will fully acknowledge people and organisations contributing facilities, data or materials to the research. Authors will gain, record and store permission for the use of these facilities, data or materials, and comply with any conditions of use. 



If disagreements arise over authorship (including ordering of authors), researchers will try to resolve them using mediation and by seeking advice from their manager and/or the Program Leads group as appropriate. 

Disputes that cannot be resolved at a local level will be referred to the Research Directors. The Research Directors will initiate a mediation process with the authors and discuss relative contributions to the research output, per the authorship eligibility in these guidelines.

Where a dispute cannot be resolved by mediation, or where the dispute evidences a breach of research integrity (for example, wrongful claims of authorship), the matter will be referred to the Director for decision considering the authorship guidelines and available evidence.

Appendix A: Authorship agreement

Appendix A: Authorship agreement

The authorship agreement does not need to be a formal legal document. It can be in the form of emails, a transcript of an online discussion or other similar evidence of agreement. A form template is provided but is not compulsory. An authorship agreement should include:

  • identification of those who will be recognised as the authors of the research output
  • a description of the contribution that each author has made (or will make) to the research output
  • an indication of the order in which the authors appear. 

The agreed order of authors should:

  • be consistent with any applicable disciplinary norms and publication requirements
  • identify at least one corresponding author who is responsible for communication with the publisher and managing communication between the co-authors.

Download the authorship agreement form template.