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Department of Communication & Journalism Protocol for Joint Authorship - Staff - Staff Research

Collaborative research should normally culminate in publication. Yet in situations where two or more individuals are working together on a research project, the issue of authorship may become contentious. Normally those involved will be able to concur, but if there are differences of opinion, the following guidelines should assist the parties concerned to agree on authorship:

  1. Issues of authorship will be negotiated and settled at the beginning of the research endeavour where possible.
  2. A memorandum outlining the details of the agreement will be sent to the HOD. This provides written documentation of the agreement that can be referred to later if necessary. It also allows for an impartial third party to review the agreement and determine if it is fair.
  3. The issue of authorship will be regularly reviewed throughout the course of the research. If the contributions of the parties involved should change then a new agreement should be negotiated and lodged with the HOD.
  4. A meeting will be held before the finish of the initial draft for authorship and acknowledgements to be discussed with all those who have contributed to the work.
  5. The order of authors' names will normally depend on the extent to which they have contributed to the work. The co-authorship scoring system below may serve as a useful guide.
  6. This system uses a set of rules based on a simple points table. Each author is awarded the highest realistic score in each category. Whoever achieves a total of 30 points obtains joint authorship in rank order of score. In the event of ties, consider recent "near misses"; if none exists, use alphabetical order.
  7. There may be a need to adapt this protocol to meet specific requirements of a given research project. If so, possible changes to this protocol should be identified early in the research process and agreement should be reached on amendments to suit that particular research. In any event, researchers’ input must be identified and recognised.
  8. Any disputes that cannot be resolved should be referred to the Head of the Department.
  9. If working with research support staff, please refer to the Research Support Staff Protocol and complete the necessary documentation.

Intellectual Input

(Planning/ designing/ interpreting)
No contribution 0
One detailed discussion 5
Several detailed discussions 10
Ongoing correspondence or longer meetings 15
Substantial liaison work 20
Closest possible involvement 25


Practical Input: Data-Capture

(Setting-up/ observing/ recording/ abstracting)
No contribution 0
Small contribution 5
Moderate indirect contribution 10
Moderate direct contribution 15
Major indirect contribution 20
Major direct contribution 25

Practical Input: Beyond Data Capture

(Data processing/ organising)
No contribution 0
Minor or brief assistance 5
Substantial or prolonged assistance 10


Specialised Input from Related Field

No contribution 0
Brief or routine advice 5
Specially-tailored assistance 10
Whole basis of approach 15

Writing Input

(Contribution to first complete draft of manuscript)
No contribution 0
Edited others' material 5
Contributed small sections 10
Contributed moderate proportion 15
Contributed majority 20
Contributed virtually all 25


Memo to Head of Department

Please print off the agreement contained in the pdf file below:

Memo to Head, Department of Communication and Journalism (63 KB)

We acknowledge a publication policy used at HortResearch which was helpful in the creation of this School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing policy.



Elizabeth Eckhoff 
Personal Assistant/Administrator
Ph: +64 9 414 0800 Ext: 9495
Email: e.m.eckhoff@massey.ac.nz

Manawatu / Distance Learning

Te Muri Tatere-Beamsley

Programme Support Administrator 
Ph: +64 6 350 5799, extn 81323
Fax: +64 6 350 5889
Email: T.M.Tatere-Beamsley@massey.ac.nz


Michelle Laurenson
School Administrator

Ph: +64 (04) 801 5799 ext. 63540
Email: M.Laurenson@massey.ac.nz