Chapter 19 - Procedures & Policies

Regarding Authorship of Collaborative Research Involving Students and Faculty Members

Graduate students are encouraged to publish results from their thesis research in the academic literature. Since the thesis research is usually a collaborative effort, involving student and supervisor, and is often supported by the supervisor's research grant, some form of joint authorship is usually appropriate.

The following represents a statement of the School's policy:

  1. Paper Publications or Presentations Arising Directly from Theses - authorship is established by mutual agreement:
    • the student is normally a first author if the student writes the first draft of the paper;
    • if, by previous agreement, or by student request, the faculty member will be listed as the first author;
    • where a significant amount of additional research or analysis is required to produce publishable results, or where the student does not contribute to the writing of the paper, the supervisor might be expected to claim first authorship;
    • if a student expects to be sole author on publications based on all or part of his or her thesis research, this should be discussed in advance with the supervisor.
  2. The authorship of a report to a granting agency lies with the faculty member who has received the grant. Usually students who work on such grants have an established status as per the original grant submission and are acknowledged as such (i.e. Research Associate, Research Assistant, Research Coordinator, etc.) in any reports.
  3. Students employed as research assistants for data collection or analysis should not expect joint authorship unless they have made significant original contributions to the design of the study in question and/or authorship of the publication arising from the work.
  4. Incoming graduate students are encouraged to discuss possible joint authorship arrangements with their supervisor at the outset of their graduate programs.