School of Nursing: Standard on Authorship of Publications from Student Research or Other Scholarly Work

Unit Standard


School of Nursing: Standard on Authorship of Publications from Student Research or Other Scholarly Work



To be evaluated at next review.


To be evaluated at next review.


Student research, while conducted under the guidance of one or more faculty members, generally belongs to the student, which includes publication rights. Exceptions to this ownership include the student's research being based on data: (1) provided by one or more faculty (or non-faculty data providers), or (2) collected while working on a faculty member's research project. In these cases, the faculty member most likely has primary claim on the data which may or may not include publication rights. However, faculty are encouraged to facilitate the publication of student research regardless of who "owns" the data.

Authorship on student research publications should reflect substantial contributions to the research and the publication. The International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE) states that authorship should be based on the following criteria:

  • Conception and design, or acquisition of the data, or analysis and interpretation of data,
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and
  • Final approval of the version to be published.

Authorship recommendations of the American Psychological Association (APA) also reflect substantial contributions to the study itself as well as the writing of the publication. Further the APA suggests that contributions such as advising about statistical analysis, data management or subject recruitment should be acknowledged in the publication but not in authorship credit.

The order of authorship varies by work group and discipline, but the general rule of thumb is that the principal author's name is listed first with subsequent authors listed in order of contribution. The APA Ethics Code (Standard 8.12c) states that "publications arising from students' theses or doctoral dissertations should normally list the student as senior author, even when advisors or others were heavily involved in the project." Exceptions to student as first author occur when the work is a part of "a collection of studies involving other researchers (APA Publication Manual, 2010)." It is assumed that doctoral students will have one or more of their advisory committee members as authors on manuscripts, providing the faculty meet the above three criteria.

Because the optimum time for determining authorship is at the outset of a research study or other scholarly work, faculty and students are encouraged to have a written agreement about publication of student work which includes time frame for manuscript preparation, who will assume specific roles in manuscript preparation, and the order of authorship.

Since negotiating authorship can be awkward for students, they are encouraged to work with their Chair (research or scholarly work advisor) to facilitate the process. Should difficulties arise, the student can bring concerns to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will promote resolution of the issue(s).

When students work with data from a faculty member and the student(s) have not progressed to manuscript preparation and publication submission in the agreed to length of time after completion of the work, the faculty member providing the data may independently publish the work, acknowledging the contributions of the student(s).



Contact Information

Primary Contact

Carol Durham, Faculty Chair

Other Contacts


Important Dates

  • Effective Date and title of Approver: 9/14/2009 approved by the faculty
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Article ID: 132405
Thu 4/8/21 9:30 PM
Mon 6/24/24 4:21 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
School of Nursing
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Clinical Professor
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
03/01/2019 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
09/14/2009 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
09/14/2009 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
09/14/2009 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
09/14/2009 12:00 AM