Dissemination, Authorship & Peer Review

  • Dissemination of Research Outputs

    The end game for most research projects is the dissemination of research findings. By making research findings publicly available, researchers are sharing potential insights and benefits with the research community, consumers, industry, policymakers and the general public. Dissemination will usually signify the fulfilment of obligations to the funding body, in particular where a project has been supported by public funding.

    Dissemination can occur in a variety of different formats, and the discipline focus of the research project can drive the format of disseminating the research findings. The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 (the Code) applies to all forms of dissemination; whether this takes the form of reporting in academics journals or books, conference presentations, creative works, web pages, and professional and institutional repositories.

    Through its Research Policy, the University seeks to promote the dissemination of research findings in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Code. Research policy states that all researchers are responsible for ensuring that research meets the standards defined by the Code. Researcher responsibility R23 of the Code specifically relates to dissemination and states that researchers should ‘Disseminate research findings responsibly, accurately and broadly. Where necessary, take action to correct the record in a timely manner.”

    It is important to note that the Research Policy also outlines the obligation for researchers (and the University) to ensure that research and dissemination of research outputs do not breach the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012.

    This information should be read in conjunction with the following University policies:

    Research Policy

    Research Authorship Guidelines

    Research Authorship Procedure

    Intellectual Property Policy

    Research Data Management Policy

    Higher Degree by Research Policy

    Additional Resources

  • Authorship

    Disputes over authorship are one of the most commonly occurring research integrity issues and can delay research, hinder publication and damage relationships between collaborators.

    Contribution of authors to a research publication will often vary. However, all authors have responsibility for the validity, originality and integrity of the work. These responsibilities include:

    • adhering to author eligibility criteria
    • ensuring the accuracy of reporting and in assigning credit for work contributed
    • reaching agreement on authorship in writing prior to submission of work for review
    • offering authorship to those who qualify, but not awarding authorship to those who do not meet the requirements
    • acknowledging the contributions of others fairly, including funding agencies
    • disclosing and managing actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest.

    The National Health and Medical Council has produced an Authorship guide which provides a definition of an author as a person who:

    • has made significant intellectual or scholarly contribution to research and its output, and
    • agrees to be listed as an author.

    Researchers are encouraged to discuss and agree to the recognition of researchers in the author list or as an acknowledgement early in the development of a research project. The agreed authorship should be recorded in a statement and for less complex or involved publications, researchers may consider using the Agreed record of authorship which is a simplified template. Publications involving more than three authors and with complex acknowledgements should consider using the Detailed Authorship Record.

    The authorship process is dynamic, not static and statements can be revisited and updated. Authorship statements should be completed for all research publications – including sole author publications.

    Researchers who have conflicts and disputes regarding authorship should first see to resolve the matter collegially with those involved with guidance from the University Policy and the 2018 Code. Researchers may also wish to discuss and seek advice from a Research Integrity Advisor.

    Where conflict can not be resolved through discussion, the steps set out in the Disputes and Conflicts section of the Research Authorship Policy should be followed.

  • Peer Review

    To encourage and support the implementation of the Code, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have released Peer Review: A guide supporting the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

    Peer review is defined by the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code), as the impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field. The peer review process is supported and driven by the Principles of Peer Review (the Principles). These are eight statements, established by the NHMRC that guide the review process.

    Participating in peer review is an essential aspect of being a researcher, and those awarded public funding may have a responsibility to be involved in the process. Online platforms, like Publons, can serve as digital records to ensure recognition for peer review activities.


    Within the Institution, peer review provides a mechanism for discussion and assessment of research activities that includes proposals and applications; material for publication and dissemination and; that conducted by Higher Degree Research (HDR) students, individuals or research teams, academic units and the University.

    Peer review by researchers with the appropriate expertise contributes to the accurate, thorough and credible reporting of research. The peer review system also provides the framework for decisions made by government bodies surrounding research quality, impact and engagement.


    Charles Sturt University and its researchers have a responsibility to contribute to the peer review process to ensure its compliance with the principles of the Code.

    As an institution, Charles Sturt is responsible for supporting peer review and providing training resources for researchers. Researchers are expected to participate in peer review, engage in the relevant training and mentor trainees, responsibly carry out peer review and not interfere in the process.

    Engaging in the peer review process can mean that a researcher may encounter a potential breach of the Code. This could include but is not limited to*:

    • failing to conduct peer review responsibly and fairly
    • taking advantage of knowledge obtained through peer review processes
    • disclosing the content or outcome of peer review processes
    • failing to disclose relevant interests.

    Peer reviewers should immediately report a suspected potential breach of the Code to the University Designated Officer (DO).

    *For further examples, please refer to Section 2.1 of Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Investigation Guide).