Facilitating world-class research
In publication and authorship, as in all other aspects of research, researchers are expected to follow the principles of good research conduct supported by the University. It is essential that the parties involved in research and publication discuss and agree on:
The University expects researchers to follow best practice in publication, such as the guidelines issued by, for example, the Committee on Publication Ethics, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the Council of Science Editors and the British Sociological Association
All members of the University undertaking research are advised to complete the University’s Research Integrity online training course, which covers good practice in publishing, authorship and peer review.
Researchers should seek to publish their results in accordance with current best practice and funders' terms and conditions. They should ensure that they:
Papers presented for publication must be the author’s own work, reflecting their own research and analysis. Authors should not engage in plagiarism - verbatim or near-verbatim copying, or very close paraphrasing, of text or results from another’s work.
If a publication is found to include an honest error (eg a difference in interpretation, errors unrelated to the research), it is advised that authors seek a correction (erratum) or retraction of work as appropriate, providing the reason for this action. Such errors are not uncommon in research, with The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (All European Academies, 2017) stating that authors should be “given credit for issuing prompt corrections post-publication” if required.
If there is a concern that an error may have constituted research misconduct (including fabrication, falsification and plagiarism), information on formal procedures can be found on the University’s Research Misconduct webpages.
Generally, an author is considered to be someone who has made a substantive intellectual contribution to a published study. According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), this normally includes anyone who has:
These widely accepted guidelines set a high standard. However there are no universally accepted standards for attributing authorship and there is great variation in practice among different disciplines, research fields and journals.
This places most of the responsibility for decisions about authorship on the researchers who conducted the research reported in the publication. These decisions are best made early in each project and renegotiated regularly as necessary, to avoid misunderstanding and later disputes.
Where the work has more than one author the researchers should also:
Any individual who contributed to the research, but whose input was not sufficient for them to be listed as an author should be recognised in the acknowledgements of the publication, where they can be credited as a contributor rather than an author.
To ensure a given author’s publications are accurately attributed to them, all authors should register for an ORCID account and ensure that their ORCID number is referenced in their published research.
In general, researchers should seek advice from within their own research field and refer to guidance produced by the appropriate research funder, the journal in question or from their professional society. Such sources include:
Only staff or students of the collegiate University, or those who have a formal affiliation to the University or a College (or those who were University staff or students, or had a formal affiliation when the research in question was conducted), should state in any journal submission that they are affiliated to the University or a College.
Researchers should give priority to publishing in publications that employ rigorous standards of peer review.
When acting as peer reviewers, University members should declare all relevant interests as required in the University's conflict of interest policy.
New reviewers are advised to take any available training and follow provided guidance (see Further Resources below) to become familiar with good practice, and consult or discuss with colleagues as necessary. Where appropriate, reviewers should contribute comments that will be attributed.
All reviewers should:
If submitting work for peer review, researchers should: