Author Responsibility


Authorship confers credit and has important academic, social, and financial implications. It also implies responsibility and accountability for published work. All scholarly or scientific publications, including articles, abstracts, manuscripts submitted for publication, presentations at conferences, and applications for funding, that involve faculty, staff, students and/or trainees arising from academic activities performed under the auspices of the University of Kansas must include appropriate attribution of authorship and disclosure of relevant affiliations of those involved in the work. The following recommendations are intended to ensure that contributors who have made substantive intellectual contributions to research are given credit as authors, but also that contributors credited as authors understand their role in taking responsibility and being accountable for what is published.

(Adopted Spring 2018)


Authors are individuals identified by the research group to have made substantial contributions to the reported work and agree to be accountable for these contributions. In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which of their co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. Furthermore, an author should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors. Authorship should be based on the following four criteria:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
  3. Final approval of the version to be published;
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Order of Authorship

The order of authorship, should be a joint decision of the coauthors. Authors should be prepared to explain the order in which authors are listed. Examples of authorship policies include descending order of contribution, placing the person who took the lead in writing the manuscript or doing the research first, the most experienced contributor last, and alphabetical or random order. Specifically, the first author is usually the person who has performed the central elements of the project. Often, this individual is also the person who comes up with the general research idea and has prepared the literature review of the manuscript. Also, the lead author is usually responsible for getting the IRB approval and serving as the corresponding author. The lead author is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all other authors meet the requirements for authorship as well as ensuring the integrity of the work itself. Each co-author is responsible for considering his or her role in the project and whether that role merits attribution of authorship. Co-authors should review and approve the manuscript, at least as it pertains to their roles in the project. Additionally, a student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple authored article that is based primarily on the student’s dissertation or thesis. Faculty advisors discuss publication credit with students as early as feasible and throughout the research and publication process as appropriate.

Disagreements about author order should be resolved by the authors before the article is submitted for peer-review. Disputes that arise after submission could delay or prevent publication. Authors should not expect editors to become embroiled in disputes among authors over name placement in the byline.

Non-author Contributor

Most journals permit (or even encourage) acknowledgement of contributions to a research project that do not merit authorship. All other contributors who are not authors should be named in the Acknowledgments, and what they did should be described. All those who are listed in this way should be aware of it.


Discussion of authorship and authorship order will optimally begin at the inception of a research project, and involve a purposeful and thoughtful examination of expected contributions of the individuals who are involved in the project. It is important to keep a written record of your decision (See Appendix: Authorship Agreement Form). For disputes that cannot be resolved amicably, individuals may seek the guidance of the dean or graduate dean of their school.

Code of Ethics for Conference Presentations

The University of Kansas Code of Student Right and Responsibilities (refer as The Code) states that all members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, and affiliates of the university (refer as KU members) bear responsibility for their conduct. Those who representing the University of Kansas in any form outside the university, such as presenting their work at conferences should adhere to The Code and are expected to maintain the highest standards of personal conduct that benefit the university and their schools.

The Code states that the core values of the members’ standards of conduct include Respect, Community, Integrity, and Responsibility. During travels outside of campus 26 where KU members present their work or represent the university in an official capacity, behavior that violates these core values include, but is not limited to:

  1. Sexual Misconduct that includes sexual harassment and sexual violence as defined by the University of Kansas Sexual Harassment Policy;
  2. Discrimination, as defined by the University of Kansas Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process;
  3. Harm to Persons: causing harm or endangering the mental or physical health or personal safety of any person;
  4. Damage and Destruction: damage to or destruction of property of another or the conference
  5. Disruption: causes or attempts to cause disruption or obstruction of someone else’s presentation or other conference activities;
  6. Taking of Property: intentionally and knowingly attempts to take or has in their possession the property of the conference or personal property of another, including goods, services and other valuables.

When representing the university, or presenting work at conferences, members should conduct themselves professionally and behave in a manner to improve public understanding of the university. Recommendations include, but are not limited to:

  1. Pay attention to personal appearance, hygiene and dress appropriately
  2. Be respectful, prepared and punctual

Concerning the use of alcoholic beverages, the University of Kansas Alcohol & Drug Policy is in effect. For the purpose of this section, any consumption or distribution of alcoholic beverages by members under the legal age of 21 is strictly prohibited. For members above the legal drinking age, the following considerations apply:

Alcoholic beverages shall not be consumed or be in visible possession when official functions are in session. During non-presentation events that foster networking and socialization, alcohol use becomes a personal choice, but that choice cannot, in any way, lead to any misconduct, interfere with the presentation or place others at risk as outlined above. KU members should be aware that their actions will always, directly or indirectly, reflect back to the institution, and should therefore be always responsible with their alcohol consumption.

The use or handling of drugs and substances that are illegal in the State of Kansas are to be considered illegal no matter the legal jurisdiction the member is in during their KU related activities.


(Guidelines developed by Yuchen Liu, Phil Maschke and Shola Aromona.)