1. Introduction and Scope
1.1 The University of Southampton (‘the University’) wishes to realise the best possible research it
can. In this respect, the University values a research culture which promotes (i) integrity, (ii)
honesty and transparency, and (iii) responsibility in one’s own work (see University of
Southampton Values, Code of Conduct for Research and Academic Integrity Regulations).
1.2 The University aims to (i) preserve the integrity of the scholarly record and (ii) ensure credit is
given where it is due. To this end, the University encourages its staff and students to conduct
proactive and recurring discussions relating to research integrity, especially about authorship
and potential conflicts of interest. Any such discussions should be held as early as possible to
ensure that authorship and acknowledgement decision making processes and responsibilities
are clear and evaluated to prevent disputes.
1.3 The University seeks to foster an academic environment where all of its staff and students have
a sufficiently clear understanding of rules and best practice in regard to authorship, research collaboration, publication and the scholarly record, to publish their work for a wider audience.
This Authorship, Contribution and Publishing Policy (‘the Policy’) seeks to clarify roles and
responsibilities of the University’s research contributors to ensure consistent and honest
conduct in authorship decision-making, thus, engendering trust in scholarship.
1.4 This Policy is primarily focused on authored works that are publicly available, which include but
are not limited to journal articles, conference proceedings, books, edited works, software,
reports, posters, datasets, working papers, and monographs. An individual or a group of
individuals producing research output types not explicitly covered by this Policy should review
the Policy and relevant guidance to see how it might be applied.
1.5 This Policy applies to any contributor publishing and disseminating research outputs which
includes but is not limited to University employees (e.g. researchers, technicians and software
engineers), visiting researchers, and postgraduate research students.
|Affiliation||The location, usually an institution, where the author or authors were when the |
underpinning research was conducted. The purpose of this is to help identify
the author, to facilitate research assessment and to provide credit to the
|Author||In this document, an author is an individual formally recognised for their|
contribution to an output in its authorship.
|Authorship||Formal recognition reserved for those (authors), and only those, who have made |
a substantial intellectual contribution to the research (see section 5).
|Coercion||The use of force or manipulation to influence another individual’s decision |
|Collusion||Two or more individuals working in an unauthorised way.|
|An individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the |
publisher’s representatives during the submission, peer-review, and publication
processes. They typically complete the publishing.
|A correction to the scholarly record issued by (the publisher on behalf of) the |
author(s), usually as a separate (but linked) output to the version of record, to
correct a mistake made by a contributor.
|Erratum (Errata)||A correction to the scholarly record issued by the publisher, usually as a |
separate (but linked) output to the version of record to correct a mistake made
by the publisher.
|Where an author intentionally conceals their contribution by not appearing on |
|Gift Authorship||Synonyms include ‘guest’ and ‘honorary’ authorship. This is where an individual|
is not an intellectual contributor but has been included on the authorship for
|Peer-review||Evaluation or assessment of research outputs by others with appropriate |
expertise and working knowledge.
|Plagiarism||Deliberate use/copying of other people’s ideas, intellectual property, words, |
data or other work (written or otherwise), without acknowledgement or
|Publisher||An organisation or person that prepares research outputs for distribution and |
|Redundancy||In a publishing context, redundancy refers to unnecessary and extensive |
reproduction of research/text which is not original to that output (i.e. recycling
of prior publications).
|Retraction||A last resort correction to the scholarly record by removing the output from |
general circulation. Each retraction should be judged individually i.e. they are
not necessarily linked to misconduct or poor-quality research.
|Scholarly Record||Body of work in the public domain which is classed as academic literature, data |
or other media.
|Software||Research software is any software used to generate, process or analyse results |
that are intended to appear in a publication. It can be anything from a few lines
of code written by an individual to a professionally developed software package
(adopted from Hettricks, 2019).
|Version of |
|The final form of an article which is formally declared by the publisher. For|
peer-reviewed journals, this is typically the final typeset, copy edited version of
the accepted manuscript. When a VoR is published online first, it may later be
added to an issue and re-paginated but changes to content and authorship are
only made through corrections such as errata and corrigenda
The definitions and use of terms in this document should not affect their interpretation or use
3. Responsibilities and Ownership
3.1 Research Integrity and Governance Committee (RIGC) has the responsibility for oversight of this
Policy. Research Integrity Champions (RICs) might develop additional discipline specific
guidance for their respective Faculties.
3.2 This Policy will be subject to periodic review by RIGC, to provide assurance to University Senate
that its terms remain fit for purpose. The Policy will be reviewed at least every 5 years or as
appropriate to respond to changes in national/international guidance or relevant legislation.
3.3 To support the implementation of this Policy, the Library and the Research and Innovation
Services (RIS) are responsible for maintaining expert knowledge.
4. Institutional Warranties
4.1 The University recognises that there are discipline specific variations in publishing practices
and requirements for authorship and contributor status.
4.2 Wherever possible, the University will seek to preserve the integrity of the scholarly record. This
includes maintaining access to publications in the Institutional Repository (https://eprints.soton.ac.uk), as well as the appropriate removal of content where a retraction has been deemed necessary (see section 7).
4.3 The University of Southampton supports the Technician Commitment and the Technicians and
Publications: Fair Attribution Guidance.
4.4 The University’s Responsible Research Metrics Policy recognises that metrics and other
measures of esteem can incentivise questionable authorship and publishing practices and
discourages the gaming of metrics.
4.5 The University signed up to the AllTrials initiative which calls for all past and present clinical
trials to be registered and their full methods and summary results reported. The University’s
statement supporting the campaign can be found here.
5. Authorship And Contributor Best Practice
When is an individual an author?
5.1 An author is an individual who has made substantial contributions to the conceptual design or
implementation of the project resulting in publication. Substantial contributions include, but
are not limited to:
- 5.1.1 conceptual or experimental design;
- 5.1.2 product or software development;
- 5.1.3 interpretation of results;
- 5.1.4 proving results;
- 5.1.5 contributing critically important intellectual content to drafts and revisions of a
manuscript or an underpinning dataset which was created specifically to support
the published study.
All authors should also meet the requirements set out in points 5.4 - 5.6. As noted above (4.1),
it is recognised that authorship principles and standards vary between different disciplines and
5.2 Contributors who have not made substantial contributions to the conceptual design or
implementation are not authors and may be given an acknowledgement (section 6).
Contributions that warrant an acknowledgement, but do not warrant authorship status alone
include, but are not limited to:
- 5.2.1 proof reading;
- 5.2.2 technical and language editing;
- 5.2.3 facilitating the peer-review process;
- 5.2.4 administrative support for the underpinning project;
or, where no intellectual contribution is made (i.e. none of the criteria listed in point 5.1 are
met) during the course of the following:
- 5.2.5 data collection;
- 5.2.6 data processing;
- 5.2.7 fieldwork;
- 5.2.8 performing experiments;
- 5.2.9 paid consultation or services;
- 5.2.10 funding the project or acquiring the funds;
- 5.2.11 leading or being a member of the research group that conducted the work.
Please note that contributing to data acquisition, data processing, fieldwork, and performing
experiments are positive contributions to any research output and they do warrant authorship
if there was an intellectual contribution (see points 5.1.1 – 5.1.4), i.e. if the work was not
instruction-led. Furthermore, the authorship of a research article and its underpinning
published dataset do not necessarily need to be the same. The criteria in section 5 should be
applied to each individual research output resulting from a project.
For the avoidance of doubt, the phenomenon known as 'honorary', 'guest', or 'gift' authorship
breaches the University's Authorship, Contribution and Publishing Policy (point 8.10).
The Casrai CRediT taxonomy is widely used to define contributions to research outputs.
Authors should also familiarise themselves with any individual publisher/journal or funder
policies on authorship and acknowledgements.
- 5.3.1 Some published outputs are subject to versioning, for example, edited volumes
- 220.127.116.11 Where this is the case any original significant intellectual contributions as set
out in points 5.1 – 5.2 should be acknowledged appropriately in each version
where the contribution is reproduced. If a subsequent version lacks any
contributions from a former author, that author may be removed from the
authorship with all authors’ agreement, but appropriate credit and citations
should be given where necessary.
- 18.104.22.168 Note, for software, the authorship status does not preclude ownership or
intellectual property related to that software.
- 22.214.171.124 Where this is the case any original significant intellectual contributions as set
5.4 An author must:
- 5.4.1 be accountable for their own contributions;
- 5.4.2 identify themselves as an author of a research output and be able to identify
- 5.4.3 disclose all conflicts of interest. Also, see point 8.11.1.
For the avoidance of doubt, the phenomenon known as 'ghost authorship' breaches this Policy
5.5 It is noted that an author is expected to be able to defend a publication as a whole or in part
where they are responsible for a specialised part of the research. All authors should be
confident in the work of their co-authors where their own expertise is limited to their specialist
5.6 All authors should have the opportunity to critically review the content prior to publication and
approve the final version of a manuscript.
5.7 The corresponding author should ensure all those listed as authors of a publication are aware
and agree to their inclusion on the authorship list. Failure to make a contributor aware of the
intent to publish does not mean those making critical intellectual contributions (see point 5.1)
can be omitted from the authorship.
5.8 Authors employed or enrolled at the University of Southampton should:
- 5.8.1 use a persistent author identification number supplied by ORCiD where the
publisher allows it;
- 5.8.2 identify themselves primarily using their institutional address. If the publisher
imposes space restrictions on the address, the author should use the term 'University of Southampton' and where appropriate, a second affiliation such as ‘University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust'. Where an author has moved institutions or has dual affiliation, the institution where the research was conducted and the institution where the author can be
identified at the time of publication should be credited as dual affiliations.
5.9 An individual should not identify as an author on massive authorship papers unless they meet
the above criteria (points 5.1 and 5.4 – 5.6).
5.10 Pseudonymous and anonymous authors are out of scope of this Policy (i.e. no exception is
required for point 5.4.2), however, it is advised that authors at the University follow the
principles of this Policy. Pseudonymous and anonymous authorship should not be used to
avoid exposing conflicts of interest or other forms of publishing misconduct (see section 8)
6. Acknowledgements In Publications
6.1 An acknowledgement should be given with reference to the guidance in point 5.2. However, the
University does not restrict the use of acknowledgements within reason.
6.2 It is best practice to notify those individuals who will be acknowledged in an output ahead of
publication, as acknowledgements could be regarded as an endorsement of the published
work, and in some regimes, association with certain publications could put an individual at
personal or reputational risk. As such, authors should be prepared to:
- 6.2.1 rewrite acknowledgements within reason;
- 6.2.2 remove an acknowledgement prior to publication.
6.3 An acknowledgement should be given to any funder that has supported the underpinning
research. Authors are responsible for understanding and implementing their funder's individual
requirements when preparing an output.
6.4 It is best practice to acknowledge facilities and instruments which were instrumental to the
underpinning research, which gives credit where credit is due, demonstrates the effective
application of funding, and improves the likelihood of the results being reproducible and
7. Corrections to the Scholarly Record
7.1 Any formal corrections, which could mean corrigenda, errata, retractions or other forms of
corrections to the published scholarly record need to be noted or corrected in the Institutional
7.2 Authors are responsible for notifying the Library (firstname.lastname@example.org) of any corrections to
the scholarly record within a reasonable time.
- 7.2.1 The Library will adjust records in the Institutional Repository accordingly;
- 7.2.2 The Library is not obliged to remove metadata or the original file(s) which have
been subject to a correction;
- 7.2.3 Where records remain in the public domain, the Library will keep a transparent
record of any changes made to outputs in the Institutional Repository.
7.3 The University believes that it is a person’s right to self-identify. A name change may
require discretion and sensitivity, especially where it is due to changes in gender identity
(including non-binary), religion, or relationship status. Where the Library is notified by the
author (point 7.2) of a name change made by a publisher without a formal correction (i.e.
erratum or corrigendum), the record in the Institutional Repository will be amended to match
an author’s name on a publication without the need to meet the requirements set out in points
7.2.2 – 7.2.3. Likewise, if the Library is acting as the publisher, every reasonable effort will be
made to amend the record with discretion and sensitivity.
7.4 Corrections to the scholarly record, including corrigenda, errata, and retractions, help to
preserve its integrity and are commendable. The presence of a correction alone should not be
used as an indicator of the quality of a published work.
7.5 In rare cases, a correction might be due to research misconduct which is out of scope of this
Policy and will be managed according to the relevant governing policy.
7.6 The University will maintain relevant expertise to support authors affected by a correction, or
who think a correction is required.
8. Publishing Ethics
The University of Southampton has the Procedure for Investigating Cases of Alleged Misconduct in
Research. Authors should be mindful of the following forms of publishing ethics misconduct:
- 8.1.1 Conspiring with one or more co-authors, editors or referees to the detriment of
another author or the scholarly record.
8.2 Coercion or bribery.
- 8.2.1 Forceful behaviours such as the use of threats or offering incentives to achieve a
8.3 Fabrication, falsification or intentional misrepresentation of data.
- 8.3.1 Data must be verifiable and represented equitably;
- 8.3.2 This includes figure and image manipulation with the intent to misrepresent data.
8.4 The use of stolen/misappropriated data.
8.6 Self-plagiarism and redundancy.
- 8.6.1 Presenting your own research and representing it as original to a later publication if it was previously published in the scholarly literature.
- 8.6.2 Note that translations, annotated works, and reviews of previously published works that are explicitly published in those formats and appropriately acknowledge/cite the original work are not a form of redundancy.
8.7 Duplicate submission to journals.
8.8 Purposeful unnecessary editing of research projects to increase publications and citation
potential, commonly known as salami slicing.
8.9 Improper conduct in peer-review.
- 8.9.1 This might include collusion, coercion, bribery, impersonating another individual, non-disclosure of competing interests and misleading the editor.
8.10 The phenomena known as ‘gift’, ‘guest’ or ‘honorary’ authorship.
- 8.10.1 Gifting or receiving authorship status without meeting the criteria set out above (see points 5.1, 5.4 and 5.9), especially as a result of collusion (point 8.1), coercion or bribery (point 8.2).
8.11 Ghost authorship or the non-disclosure of competing interests.
- 8.11.1 Not disclosing yourself as an author or being complicit with an individual not
disclosing themselves as an author due to competing interests (point 5.4.3).
- 8.11.2 Note this does not restrict a contributor’s right to anonymity where they would
otherwise be acknowledged e.g. interviewee.
If you suspect any intentional breaches of publishing ethics you should contact the University’s
Research Integrity and Governance (RIG) Team at email@example.com.
9. Further Guidance and Contacts
9.1 This Policy is supplemented by the Authorship, Contribution and Publishing Guidance.
9.2 For further guidance on how this Policy should be interpreted and implemented please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Further Information And Resources
COPE - Committee on Publication Ethics – Authorship and contributorship resources
Hettrick, S. 2019. Analysis of the Software Survey conducted at the University of Southampton
in June 2019. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3569549, as developed on GitHub. [Online]. [Accessed 01
July 2020]. Available from: https://github.com/SouthamptonRSG/soton_software_survey_analysis_2019
ORCID Unique Researcher Identifier
11. Related University Policies and Regulations
Technicians and Publications: Fair Attribution Guidance
Date First Approved: June 2021
Authors: Library and Research Integrity and Governance (RIG) Team
Revision Date: June 2026
Authorised by: Research Integrity and Governance Committee (RIGC), University Executive Board (UEB) and University Senate