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ACLC (co-)authorship guidelines

The fields of (psycho/socio)linguistics, communication, and cognitive sciences are going through conceptual and methodological changes which in turn favor more interdisciplinary work. As a result, collaborative work involving several authors is becoming the norm. In this regard, it is crucial that the contribution of each author or collaborator is acknowledged fully, fairly, and according to transparent conventions. The ACLC has adopted the following authorship guidelines adapted from several sources (e.g., the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018, the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Other potentially relevant sources are indicated below).

We ask all ACLC authors/collaborators to follow these guidelines strictly.

1. Ensure a transparent, appropriate, and fair attribution of authorship

All named authors should meet the following conditions:

  1. An author must make substantial contributions to the conception, the design and drafting of the study, the acquisition of data, and/or the analysis and interpretation of data*;
  2. An author must give final approval of the version to be published. 
  3. All authors are fully responsible for the content of the research product, unless otherwise specified in the publication.

Fulfilling all these conditions is a prerequisite for being an author.

*    For supervisors, simply providing extensive feedback/comments as required by the   supervision task is not a sufficient condition for authorship.

2. Formalise authorship agreements

Co-authorship agreements must be discussed explicitly with all possible parties before any writing or collaboration takes place. For ACLC PhD candidates this should happen at the beginning of the PhD project in the research planning phase, as well as at the beginning of all subsequent related subprojects. The following points must be considered in the co-authorship agreement:

  • Identification of those who will be recognised as the authors of the study.
  • A description of the contribution of each author. It is important to acknowledge everyone who contributed to the research and to obtaining and/or processing the data. 
    • Example: Researcher A: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal or statistical analysis. Investigation, Resources, Data curation, Writing - original draft, Writing - review & editing, Visualization. Researcher B: Project administration, Writing - reviewing & editing. Researcher C: Student assistant, data annotation. Researcher D: Supervision, Writing - reviewing & editing (cf. Brand, Allen, Altman, Hlava & Scott, 2015, p. 153).
  •  An indication of the order in which the authors appear.
    • Where the work is directly related to the PhD project, the PhD candidate will always be first author.
    • In other projects, order of authorship should be decided on the basis of importance of contribution or according to the conventions in the field (or the journal where the publication is submitted). Similarly to co-authorship, order of authorship must be discussed explicitly with all possible parties before publication.

As a project evolves, it is important to continue to discuss authorship, especially if new people become involved in the research and make a significant intellectual or scholarly contribution, as stated in conditions 1-3 above.

Further details about authorship agreement can be found in the following links:

3. Acknowledge contributions other than authorship

Contributors who do not meet the criteria for ‘author’ must be informed of their level of involvement and acknowledged explicitly, by indicating their role (e.g., contributions from individuals providing technical support, consultants, or third parties such as science foundations).