LSU is committed to the highest standard of integrity in all areas of research and
intellectual inquiry, including those related to the publication and presentation
of scholarly and creative works. This commitment to ethical conduct is critical to
research and academic progress, to maintaining public trust, and for the public to
benefit from academic pursuits.
In every discipline, publication and presentation are essential to professional development
and career advancement, and authorship is often a significant means by which to acknowledge
the efforts and contributions of collaborators. At the same time, the benefits of
authorship are accompanied by a number of responsibilities for the proper planning,
execution, analysis, and reporting of research and the content and conclusions of
other scholarly works.
LSU PS-27 establishes the standards and procedures that should be followed to determine appropriate
attributions of authorship for the purposes of research, scholarship and creative
works. It also provides a mechanism by which disputes over authorship credit can be
While the specific rules guiding the assignment of authorship credit vary from discipline
to discipline, the Policy provides some generalized principles which can help faculty
make appropriate and ethical decision about authorship. From this broad perspective,
authorship should be limited to those individuals who have made meaningful and substantial intellectual contributions to a scholarly work or project. A three-fold set of criteria can help identify those
who meet the "meaningful and substantial" test.
- provide substantive intellectual contributions to the conception or design of the
work, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of information or data; AND
- participate in drafting and/or revising the work for scholarly content; AND
- approve the final version of the work to be published or presented
should be designated as authors, and all listed authors should meet the above criteria.
Regardless of authorship, there must also be appropriate acknolwedgement of the work,
ideas, and words of others that are used in any publication or presentation.
In order to prevent disputes from happening in the first place, it is highly recommended
that authorship assignment policies among collaborators should be agreed to prior
to the commencement of research. Having such agreements in hand in advance assures
all of those involved with the research that their contributions will be acknowledged
Guidance for Researchers
The American Psychological Association provides an "Authorship Determination Scorecard" to help researchers in developing such authorship plans. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) provides resources and guidance to help scholars, researchers and administrators
with ethical practices in authorship.
Publishers, academies, and ethics centers also publish guidelines for researchers
to help them address authorship issues before they become problems.