Skip to main content

Authorship of Scientific and Scholarly Publication Policy

Approved by Academic Council: September 15, 2016

Effective Date: September 15, 2016

The purpose of this Authorship of Scientific and Scholarly Publication Policy (referred to henceforth as the Policy) is to assist with the planning, implementation and resolution of authorship. This policy applies to scientific and scholarly work conducted by faculty, research staff, and students in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy (SRT). Scientific and scholarly work constitutes the dissemination of findings, discussions, and analysis to scientific, academic and lay communities.

The Policy has been written to be consistent with, and complementary to, existing related Queen’s University policies and agreements addressing research ethics, integrity, and intellectual property issues. The Policy is meant to be used in conjunction with, not as a replacement for, existing University procedures or agreements.

The objectives of the policy are:

  • To provide a clear understanding of what constitutes 'authorship'.
  • To ensure that those faculty, research staff and students who participate in research activities with SRTare acknowledged and that their contributions are fairly and appropriately represented.
  • To support a guideline which is flexible enough to accommodate variations inherent in publication patterns across different research projects, meeting presentations, course related assignments and fieldwork tasks.

This policy applies to faculty, research staff and students in the SRT. It is intended that the Policy will pertain primarily to research outputs which include, but are not restricted to, the following: journal articles, conference presentation abstracts (posters or platform presentations), presentations at professional meetings, conference workshops, as well as service delivery toolkits, operation manuals and knowledge transfer tools or products.

  1. Role of authors and contributors

    An author is defined as an individual who meets all four of the following conditions:

      1. Substantial contribution to the study usually includes:
        1. Conception and design (e.g. co-investigator, consultant or research support staff who have intellectually contributed to the grant proposal) OR
        2. Clinical or methodological support throughout the implementation of the study (generally through participation in regular team meetings) OR
        3. Acquisition of data OR
        4. Analysis and interpretation of data


      2. Provides important intellectual contribution towards the conceptualization or writing as well as reviewing drafts of the article or abstract in a timely fashion.


      1. Final approval of the version to be published (or may waive final approval at a point where no more substantial changes are to be made).


    1. Are prepared to take public responsibility for the paper.

    Persons who have not contributed in all of the above ways should not be included in the authorship list. No person should be either included or excluded from authorship without negotiation and the agreement of all parties concerned. Acknowledgment of other contributions of a less substantial nature may be determined by negotiation between authors. These contributions usually include involvement in one or more of the supportive aspects of the project such as designing and maintaining apparatus, statistical advice, data collection, administrative support and data entry. The usual practice is for these contributions to be cited as acknowledgments or in a footnote, with prior agreement from the person who will be acknowledged.

  2. Publishing with students
    1. Any publication arising from graduate student research typically has the student as first author, with the proviso that the supervisor be entitled to first authorship if a significant amount of additional research or analysis is required to publish the results.
    2. Faculty must be provided with the raw data and the analysis on which the research product is based. Students may keep copies of data that have no identifying information in a secure fashion. All consent forms, raw data, codes etc. involving human subjects must reside in a locked cabinet or as a password protected electronic format within the SRT or the faculty member’s laboratory as per Health Sciences Ethics Review Board or General Research Ethics Board.
    3. Faculty supervisors have the right to first authorship on papers based on any material in the research product or arising from the research product that has not been submitted for publication within one year of the research product defence, especially when the research product forms part of the supervisor’s ongoing research program. The student retains the right, subject to the criteria in Item 1. above, to be co-author on such papers and therefore, the research product material may be used directly by the supervisor without infringing on the student’s copyright, although students may formally waive that right.
  1. Faculty are responsible for sharing this policy with their students and research staff, and discussing authorship on research outputs early in the research process.
  2. Decisions about authorship are to be documented, signed and dated by all authors.
  3. Individuals with a dispute over authorship are to:
    1. Identify the specific area of concern
    2. Speak to the lead author of the manuscript
    3. Have all parties involved meet to discuss and resolve the issue.
    4. Senior faculty who are experienced in joint authored papers may be consulted to assist in interpreting guidelines and in making recommendations for resolution.
    5. If the above steps do not result in an agreement being reached, the SRT Director is asked to meet with the authors to interpret the guidelines and make suggestions for resolution.
    6. If the project involves a graduate student the negotiation with the research team was not satisfactory for one or more members of the research team, the Graduate School can be contacted. Queen’s University has an ombudsman in the Graduate School who can assist with conflicts involving students. For conflicts involving intellectual property, Queen’s University’s Office of Intellectual Property should be consulted. If there is concern regarding research integrity, the Queen’s University HSREB or GREB should be contacted.
  1. Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals:
  2. Student Guide to Assist with Authorship Planning (Find it attached) adopted with permission from Bourbonniere, M. C., Russell, D. J., & Goldsmith, C. H. (2006). Authorship issues: one research center’s experience with developing author guidelines. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(1), 111-117. Available at