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Library Research Support: Authorship & Acknowledgements

Support for Research Staff & Research Students

Authorship & Acknowledgements in Research Publications

This guide collects guidance for all authors on; 

  1. Authorship: Ensuring credit is appropriately given, and that disputes around authorship can be avoided; 
  2. Affiliations: Ensuring that a Durham University affiliation is recorded correctly in scholarly publications; 
  3. Acknowledgements: Guidance on acknowledging funding in scholarly publications; 
  4. Supplementary Materials: Guidance on ensuring access to material supplementary to a published output;
  5. Related guidance on copyright, ORCID and author IDs and plagiarism.

Authorship Guidance

Authorship Guidance

"[Principal Investigators should] in the case of academic publications, ensure contributors are included as corresponding authors where appropriate."

Durham University Research Integrity Policy and Code of Good Practice [Section 10.0]

The full University Guidance, approved at University Research Committee (January 2020) can be downloaded here.

The guidance covers:

  1. Why authorship matters?
  2. Planning for authorship
  3. What is an author?
  4. Responsibilities of authorship
  5. Non-author contributors
  6. Problems with authorship
  7. How authorship disputes are handled at Durham
  8. Useful Links and additional resources

CRediT - Contributor Roles

CRediT Guidance

"CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) is high-level taxonomy, including 14 roles, that can be used to represent the roles typically played by contributors to scientific scholarly output. The roles describe each contributor’s specific contribution to the scholarly output."

CASRAI: CRediT – Contributor Roles Taxonomy  [CASRAI]

Authors are recommended to agree on the form of contribution an author has made to a research output, in line with the University's guidance on authorship, and that where appropriate this should reflect the roles identified in the CRediT list of contributor roles. This list of contributor roles is increasingly being used by journals as part of the manuscript submission process and other research systems.

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations in Publications

"It is the responsibility of individual authors to ensure that their affiliation to Durham University is correctly recorded. This includes checking the proofs of any publications received."

Policy on Institutional Affiliation in Connection with Durham University Research Publications [Section 4.0]

Authors are strongly advised to standardise how they record their affiliation(s) where applicable. This can:

  • Enhance the visibility of research at the University.
  • Increase the esteem and reputation of individual researchers, research groups and the University amongst the research community at both national and international level.
  • Ensure individual researchers, research groups and the University receive appropriate academic recognition.
  • Improve more accurate measuring and recording of publication metrics associated with research outputs (such as citation impact metrics), where they are used in University League Tables and assessment exercises such as the REF.

Authors should be familiar with the University's Institutional Affiliation Policy, and refer to the examples and guidance included within it.

Supplementary Materials

Inclusion of statements for accessing data or supplementary materials

"[Principal Investigators are responsible for] Ensuring that the metadata for data underpinning published research findings is accessible online no later than the first date of publication of the output... ."

Durham University Research Data Management Policy [Section 4.3.1]

Many journals, primarily in STEM subjects, will allow or require authors to also submit data underpinning the published research, or provide information on how data might be accessed.

Even where this is not already the case, it is good research practice to at the least, provide an indication of if and how underpinning research data, or supplementary materials, can be accessed, where there are not intellectual property or data protection issues.

It is worth noting that some funders are also require such a statement to be included in published outputs, where applicable.

Acknowledgement of Funding

Acknowledgement of funding

"[All researchers should] appropriately acknowledge anyone who has directly or indirectly assisted their work. This includes collaborators, funders and participants."

Durham University Research Integrity Policy and Code of Good Practice [Section 10.1(e)]

In 2008, major research funders and publishers published guidance for authors to help standardise how research funding should be acknowledged in published research outputs. For some funders, such as the UK Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust, this is a requirement for most research funding awards.

The recommended format is at below:

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].

Full guidance has been archived on the Research Information Network.

Related Guidance

ORCID and Author IDs
Copyright for Authors
Plagiarism for Authors

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