Policy to govern the publication of research

Updated on 17 July 2023

This policy outlines the requirements of the University for the publication process and associated dissemination, archiving, and recording of research.

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The University of Dundee recognises that disseminating high-quality research to a global audience through a publication process is an essential activity that maximises the economic, social and cultural impact of the work of individuals and of the University.

This policy outlines the requirements of the University for the publication process and associated dissemination, archiving, and recording of research.

Scope and definition of terms

For the purposes of this Policy, the term ‘researcher’ applies to University of Dundee employees (including honorary staff) where publication is an expectation of their employment, and to postgraduate and undergraduate students. The policy does not apply to employees who do not meet the above definition, although they are encouraged to follow the policy’s requirements.

This policy intersects with several related University policies, and references these where appropriate.

‘Publications’ are deemed to be the output of research activity and include, but are not limited to, journal contributions, conference proceedings, books, monographs, chapters, exhibition catalogues, and preprints.

‘Non-text outputs’ include, but are not limited to, artefacts, performances, artists’ books, exhibitions, digital artefacts, and moving images, including animations.

‘Discovery’ refers to the University of Dundee Institutional Repository, which utilises a Current Research Information System (CRIS) software platform called Pure. This provides the mechanism by which research output is recorded by the University and made openly available.

‘Author Accepted Manuscript’ (AAM) refers to an early version of the work, commonly the final peer-reviewed manuscript that includes revisions made after peer review but prior to being typeset or copyedited by the publisher.

Policy statement

1. Authorship

1.1 Author definition. An author is generally considered to be a researcher who has made substantial intellectual contribution to a scientific investigation or study, including:

  • Conception or design of work
  • Acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data/results
  • Drafting, or substantially reviewing or revising a manuscript for publication
  • Other similarly novel scholarly effect

Authorship is also defined by the appropriate guidelines relevant to the 

1.2 Lead/corresponding author. At least one researcher must be designated as a lead author, who, as well as meeting the criteria above for authorship (refers 1.1), assumes overall responsibility for the management and integrity of the manuscript. The lead author obtains agreement from all co-authors to be listed as co-authors and also obtains their approval of the finished manuscript. When a lead author is affiliated to the University of Dundee, they are expected to ensure that the publication requirements laid out in this policy are met.

1.2.1 When providing a contact email address to publishers, University of Dundee authors must use a University of Dundee (dundee.ac.uk) email address.

1.3 Co-authors. All researchers that meet the criteria for authorship (refers 1.1) but who are not designated as Lead/Corresponding Author (refers 1.2) shall be considered co-authors. Each co-author is required to review and approve the manuscript before publication and should request that the Rights Retention Statement (refers 3.7) be included in the manuscript.

1.4 Acknowledgements and contributions. Acknowledgement should be given to individuals who do not meet the criteria above for authorship (refers 1.1), but who have nevertheless made a valued contribution to the original work, or the writing/editing of the manuscript (for example, acquisition of funding, provision of reagents, general supervision of a research group or general administrative support, without other contributions). This is commonly listed in the acknowledgements or contributions section of the work. Authors must ensure that their contributions to an output are correctly recorded in the final version.

2. Integrity

2.1 Unacceptable authorship. All forms of authorship that are inconsistent with the above definition (refers 1.1), including “guest authorship” and “ghostwriting”, are considered unacceptable and intentional breach of the terms of this policy is considered research misconduct.

2.1.1. Guest authorship is the practice of including an individual in a research publication or non-text output who has not made a substantive contribution to the textual content of the publication or the underlying research (refers 1.1). This may occur (i) with the intention of increasing the standing or credibility of the publication, and/or (ii) as an expression of respect for, or dependence on, the individual, with the associated anticipation that the true author(s) of the publication will accrue some form of benefit.

2.1.2. Ghostwriting can be defined as the intentional failing to identify an individual in a publication who has substantively (i) contributed to the writing of the publication or (ii) contributed to the underlying research.

2.1.3. The University does not allow publications containing its staff (including honorary staff) or students as authors to be ghostwritten by any party, subject to the exclusion reported in paragraph 2.1.4 below.

2.1.4. The University recognises that there are circumstances where an individual has made some contribution to a publication but not to the extent that qualifies the individual as an author. Such an individual may be an editorial assistant or professional scientific/medical writer who has contributed to the drafting of a publication in order to improve clarity or help convey its meaning to a particular audience (e.g. the general public). The University permits such practice, subject always to (i) an individual making such a contribution being listed in an acknowledgement section of the publication; such a listing will include the employment status and employer of the individual, and a description of the nature of their contribution and how it was paid for, and (ii) the authors retaining full responsibility for the content of the publication.

2.1.5. University staff (including honorary staff) and students must make every reasonable effort to ensure publications arising from their activities include a description of the inputs and affiliations of all contributors and authors making a substantive contribution, it being noted that this may be limited to particular aspects of the work.

2.2. Plagiarism. All work presented for publication must constitute the original work of the author(s) or be properly attributed. Re-use of text, data, figures or images without appropriate acknowledgement is considered plagiarism, including the paraphrasing of text, concepts and ideas. Reuse of portions of work or the entirety of an output that has previously been published or disseminated without appropriate attribution is considered self-plagiarism. Both plagiarism and self-plagiarism potentially constitute research misconduct.

2.3. Falsification or fabrication. Any falsification or fabrication of data or results is considered unacceptable and constitutes research misconduct. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, image manipulation, cropping of gels/images to change context, self-creation of data sets or omission of selected data.

2.4. Conflicts of interest. Researchers are required to identify and declare any potential conflicts of interest that relate to publication of research, whether legal, ethical, moral, financial, personal or other nature. The University’s Conflicts of Interest Policy is available for researchers to consult.

3. Preparing for publication

3.1. University affiliation. Researchers must acknowledge the University of Dundee on all research publications, from the manuscript submission stage onwards. The correct format is as follows:

[Department/School], University of Dundee, Dundee [Postcode], United Kingdom

Where a publisher places limitations for recording a researcher’s affiliation, the term ‘University of Dundee’ must take precedence over Department, School, or Research Group affiliation.

Where publishers do not provide a place to include a university affiliation, this information should be provided in a footnote on the first page of text.

With regard to non-text outputs, the researcher should decide the best place to record the university affiliation.

3.2. Funder acknowledgements. When required by the funder, sources of funding should be acknowledged and should include the relevant grant number, from the manuscript stage onwards. Where multiple funders are concerned, a semi-colon should separate individual funding bodies. The correct formats are as follows:

This research was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) [grant number xxxxxxx].

This research was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) [grant number xxxxxxx]; Wellcome Trust [grant number xxxxxxx]; Chief Scientist Office (CSO) [grant number xxxxxxx].

To aid reporting, researchers must ensure that the grant number listed in their publication matches that used by the funder, including the correct punctuation.

If space is not provided by the publisher for this information, acknowledgement should be included as a footnote on the first page of the manuscript.

3.2.1. Where research has benefitted from data or facilities funded or made accessible by a particular source, this should be additionally acknowledged (refers 3.2).

3.3. Funder compliance. Researchers must ensure compliance with their funder requirements when selecting a route to publication and agreeing licencing conditions.

3.4. Standard author identifier. Researchers are required to obtain a persistent identifier from ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID), ensure it is recorded in their Discovery profile, and apply this from the submission stage onwards. Many research organisations, funders and publishers support the adoption of ORCID and increasingly it is becoming a requirement of both funding and publication. More information about obtaining an ORCID is available for researchers.

3.5. Clinical trials data. Any publications underpinned by clinical trials must include acknowledgement of the database register (refers 4.4. below) and the registration number in accordance with the guidance given by the register (normally within a discrete metadata field). Where no guidance is given, this information should be listed in the acknowledgements or contributions section of the work.

3.6. Ethical statements. Research based on human or animal subjects should include ethical statements that detail the name and nature of the local ethics committee (or confirmation that this approval was not required), relevant licenses, and/or a statement of how the research conformed to recognized standards including any national or local guidelines followed.

3.6.1. An example format for ethical statements regarding animal subjects is as follows:

  • All experiments were carried out under the authority of licences granted by the UK Home Office under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Prior to submission to the Home Office, applications for project licences were approved (approval number WEC20xx-yy) by the University Welfare and Ethical Use of Animals Committee, acting in its capacity as an Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body as required under the Act.

If required, this should be expanded to include work done elsewhere in the UK (for which local ethical approval would be listed) and any work done under other jurisdictions.

3.6.2. An example format for ethical statements regarding human participants is as follows:

  • This study was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the University of Dundee’s Policy for Non-Clinical Research Involving Human Participants. The project was approved by the School of [insert School name] Research Ethics Committee, University of Dundee (reference [insert decision letter reference number]). All subjects gave written informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

The unique reference number/ID on the approval letter from the relevant ethics committee must be included for all research involving human participants.

3.7. Retention of copyright.  At the point of submission for publication, prior to signing any copyright agreements or contracts, authors will assert their right to retain copyright and reuse rights by applying the statement below to the submitted manuscript: 

“For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission”

Upon acceptance for publication, and for the purpose of open access, each researcher agrees to grant the University of Dundee a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free licence to make manuscripts of their scholarly articles publicly available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. This assignation of rights happens automatically without the need to complete or sign any forms.

Authors will provide an electronic copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript, which will be uploaded to the institutional repository, The Discovery Research Portal, with the accompanying metadata being made available immediately upon deposit, and the AAM being made available at the time most appropriate for open access, most commonly upon final publication. 

This provision does not apply to monographs, book chapters, edited collections, and textbooks. However, authors are strongly encouraged to make these output types open access through the Discovery Research Portal.

3.8. Predatory journals. The researcher is responsible for ensuring that the selected route to publication does not use illegal, predatory, or reputationally damaging third party vendors or suppliers. Advice can be sought from the Library Services Research Services team by emailing discovery@dundee.ac.uk and consulting further information on best practice.

4. Open access and dissemination

4.1. Open access. The University requires that research outputs are made available to the widest possible audience, whenever reasonable and legal to do so. Researchers are expected to adhere to the principles laid out in the University’s Open Research Policy.

4.2. Research data management. The University advocates the appropriate management, re- use and open accessibility of research data. Researchers are required to plan, archive and disseminate the underlying research data for publications in accordance with the University’s Policy to Govern the Management of Research Data.

4.3. Animal research. The University’s Code of Practice for the Use of Animals in Teaching and Research requires that experiments involving animals are published in sufficient detail for their validity to be assessed. Researchers using animals in their research are required to adhere to the publication standards detailed in the Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) Guidelines.

4.4. Clinical trials. All clinical trials of investigational medicinal products should be registered prospectively in publicly accessible databases (e.g. ClinicalTrials.gov, the ISRCTN Registry) and summary result data must be made publicly available in a timely manner, and within 12 months of completion. Manuscripts should include registration numbers and the name of the register from the submission stage onwards (refers 3.5 above). NHS and clinical trial data may be subject to additional governance as specified by the R&D Director, Tayside Medical Science Centre (TASC), NHS Tayside. The TASC Publication Policy and Standard Operating Procedures on Research Governance provide guidance on best practice.

4.5. Further dissemination. Researchers may choose to disseminate their work through a variety of third-party platforms not directly associated with the University, such as ResearchGate or Academia.edu., and are expected to cite their work in such a way as to allow for tracking of the reach and impact of the work (i.e., where a DOI is available, it should be used to refer back to the original research). It remains the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to funder and publisher policies and conditions, and to not breach copyright legislation.

Researchers extending the reach and impact of their work using social media, are expected to do so in line with University of Dundee guidance on branding and style.

4.5.1. Researchers should seek advice from their School Executive or the University Corporate Communications Office prior to seeking media exposure of research, or immediately upon media interest becoming known.

4.5.2. Researchers should not seek media exposure for research that has not been subject to peer review without prior approval from their School Executive or the University Corporate Communications Office.

5. Compliance, Recording and Research Assessment

5.1. Publisher compliance. Researchers are expected to observe any publisher guidelines or requirements for the publication process including, but not limited to, review and consent procedures, embargoes, copyright or licensing terms, and research data requirements.

5.2. Open access and REF compliance. To meet the expectations of the University’s Policy on Open Access, researchers are required to provide a copy of the AAM and proof of the date of acceptance for all journal articles and conference proceedings to the Library Services Research Services team by emailing discovery@dundee.ac.uk or through direct deposit in Discovery. To ensure eligibility for future iterations of REF, this information must  be sent as soon as possible, and within 3 months, from the date of acceptance. Co- authors are also required to submit the AAM to Discovery immediately following acceptance for Open Access compliance and REF eligibility reasons (refers 4.1).

5.3. Record of publications. Researchers are required to inform the Library Services Research Services team once a research output has been accepted for publication. Once published, the researcher must provide a copy of the publication for recording and archiving purposes.

5.3.1. If a copy cannot be provided, researchers are required to inform Library Services on publication so that a copy can be purchased.

5.4. Record of non-text outputs. Researchers are required to create records for non-text outputs in Discovery, describing the output and providing links to websites that further describe the work.

5.5 Record of theses. Researchers that supervise PhD students are required to ensure that their student completes a Thesis Deposit Agreement (TDA) and archives the final version of their thesis to Discovery. The supervising researcher is responsible for informing the student of their obligations regarding publication and third-party copyright material held in their final thesis. Further clarification can be sought via the guidance on Theses Submission.

5.6. Record of research data. Researchers must ensure a descriptive metadata record of datasets associated with a publication is entered into Discovery, along with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). The DOI link must  be provided with the paper from the submission stage onwards. DOIs and further assistance may be obtained from the Library Services Research Services team by emailing discovery@dundee.ac.uk.

5.7. Withdrawal of publications or non-text outputs. Researchers are required to inform Library Services Research Services of the withdrawal, retraction or removal of publications or non- text outputs, or when substantive corrections are made.

6. Assistance with application of policy

The Library Services Research Services team manages publication data within Discovery, ensuring accuracy and completeness. They will provide support through mediated deposit of publications, Open Access compliance, funder compliance, compliance for future iterations of national research assessment exercises (REF) , research data management, Creative Commons licensing and copyright advice, theses archiving, use of Discovery and the Pure platform, the application of DOIs, and any queries relating to publishing including the management of the UKRI, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and Institutional Open Access block grants available within the University for payment of Open Access fees. Support is available via discovery@dundee.ac.uk or via the Director of Library Services,  (h.whaley@dundee.ac.uk).

If there is uncertainty around the applicability or interpretation of this policy, the matter must be referred to the Convener of the University’s Research Governance & Policy Sub-Committee (contact the Director of Library Services  in the first instance: h.whaley@dundee.ac.uk

1 For example:

Document information

Document name Policy to Govern the Publication of Research
Status Approved
Responsible officer/department/school Director of Library Services
Policy owner Research Governance and Policy Sub-Committee
Date last approved 11 July 2023
Due for renewal January 2025 or as required
Information classification: public/internal Public
Location in repository Research, Knowledge & Exchange
Approval route and history Research Governance and Policy Sub-Committee, 29th January 2020
Code/school RGPSC_200129_PUBR_v1

Hannah Whaley

Director of Library Services

Corporate information category Research governance