Skip to Main Content

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 and Affiliation policy and 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

How authorship disputes are handled at Durham

Please see our full guidance on authorship and appropriate credit above.

Staff are encouraged to try and resolve any disputes on a peer-to-peer level and this guidance is designed to help them to do so. It is recognised that there are occasions where this is not possible and in these cases the escalation process is outlined below. At any point support and advice can be accessed from RIS / Library via the Research Policy email.

Stage one - Informal

It is expected that most disputes can be resolved at this stage.

  1. Advice should be sought from your designated ethics contact in the first instance. At this stage it is expected that the interaction will still be between members of the research team.
  2. If the dispute cannot be resolved here then then it should be escalated to the Head of Department. At this point it may be necessary for the HoD to open direct dialogue with their counterparts at the other institution, and it may be useful to discuss the issue with the publishers as well. The onus remains on an amicable / mutually agreeable solution but if a resolution cannot be found here then it is escalated to stage two.
Stage two - Formal
  1. The Head of Department should provide a summary of the issue to Vice Provost (Research). The VP(R) may engage in dialogue with their counterparts to affect a mutually agreeable solution. However in cases where this is not possible then, taking advice from Legal and other services as required, a unilateral action may be taken.
  2. The decision of the VP(R) is final.


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.

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."

CRediT – Contributor Roles Taxonomy  [NISO]

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.

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.

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.

The Rights Retention Approach

"Rights Retention" is a new initiative from cOAlition-S funders, including the Wellcome Trust, UKRI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, each of whom has published cOAlition-S aligned policies which include a rights retention requirement.

What is the 'Rights Retention Strategy'?

The key expectation on authors from funders is to make their research articles Open Access immediately on publication, without embargo, and under a clear open licence, usually a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence

Rights retention supports the green (self-archiving) open access route (Route 2 in both the UKRI and Wellcome Trust Open Access policies), and aims to allow an author to publish in their journal of choice (even if that published Version of Record (VoR) remains behind a subscription paywall), whilst ensuring an author retains the right to share their Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) immediately upon publication, in line with the expectations of their funder.

It essentially takes the form of an author including a statement in all article manuscripts submitted for publication, notifying the publisher of their funding obligations and that they, as author, are retaining the right to share their accepted manuscript under those terms.

The intended outcome is that:

  • Authors
    • Retain the rights to share and re-use their own AAM as they wish.
    • Are able to meet the open access requirements where these form any terms and conditions in their funding contract.
  • Institutions
    • Can share the accepted manuscripts provided to them by authors immediately from their institutional open access repository.
    • Can provide clear and consistent guidance for authors on how to comply and how and when AAMs will be shared.
  • Researchers
    • Gain immediate open access to a peer-reviewed version of research publications, which would otherwise be hidden behind a subscription paywall.
    • Through the use of standard open licencing can clearly see how they can, and cannot, re-use that published research.
  • Publishers
    • Are clearly notified at the first point of submission of the funder's open access requirements that the author of the manuscript is obliged to meet.
  • Funders
    • Can ensure the authors they fund have a mechanism for making research open access immediately upon publication which is not dependent upon an author's ability to pay for publishing.

What do researchers need to do?

This is advice is for research articles in scope of the Wellcome Trust Open Access policy, or research articles submitted after 1st April 2022 and in scope of the UKRI Open Access policy. 

Researchers are required to include a clear statement following the wording provided by their respective funder when submitting their manuscript for publication. This wording should be included in the funding acknowledgements section of the manuscript, and in any cover letter, email or submission system note accompanying the submission. 

Where an article acknowledges funding from both funders, the authors can choose either form of wording - it is not required that both statements are included.

  • "For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising."
  • "This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission."

[Note that in both cases, where the author has requested and received permission from their funder to use an alternate open licence, then the licence applied can be substituted in the wording included.]

Challenges we will face

We do not know how all publisher's will respond to the inclusion of this statement, and we are aware some publisher's may contact an author, at various stages of the submission/publication process, about this statement (whilst some publisher's have indicated they will accept its use and have no concerns with its inclusion).

Please contact if you have any concerns about its use, or are able to share any response received by a publisher.

We have set out the advice currently provided by funders below:

  • If a journal refuses to accept a submission which makes clear that any Author Accepted Manuscripts arising from the submission will already be licensed under a prior CC BY licence, you will need to reconsider where to publish your research. In such cases, let us know and we’ll update the journal’s details in the Journal Checker Tool.
  • Where a journal accepts a submission with a prior CC BY licence, but on acceptance imposes terms and conditions, via a publishing agreement or otherwise, that prevent you from meeting our OA requirements, follow these steps:
    • If the journal provides a paid open access option for individual articles, seek to publish via this route and request a waiver from the journal for the article processing charge (APC). NOTE: Wellcome funds can’t be used to pay the APC.
    • If the waiver requested in Step 1 is not given, then request a publishing agreement amendment via the journal editorial office. You can use this template addendum.
    • •If the requests outlined in Step 1 and Step 2 above are both rejected by the journal, contact Wellcome (
  • If a publisher rejects your submission, advises you will need to pay for open access charges or changes terms of publication, contact your research organisation for advice.



Related Guidance

undefined  undefined  undefined  undefined  undefined  undefined