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Publication, authorship and IP

You should discuss the strategies for publishing your thesis with your supervisor as early as possible and develop a Publication Plan. You should also discuss issues of authorship and intellectual property (IP).

Types of publication

Publications refer to work available in the public domain that has undergone some form of peer review. Forms of publication could include:

  • Journal articles
  • Conference papers
  • Books or book chapters
  • Designs or compositions
  • Recordings
  • Scripts
  • Exhibitions
  • Creative work e.g. poetry, photography
  • Performances

You should consult with your supervisor and consider which forms and quality of publications are respected in your discipline.

Why should I publish from my thesis?

There are several benefits to publishing research arising from your masters or doctoral thesis. These include:

  • strategic and timely dissemination of your research;
  • gives your research credibility and develops your research profile;
  • improves your writing skills;
  • receive training in the publication process from your supervisor;
  • feedback received prior to thesis submission;
  • establish a track record to enhance your resume; and
  • improve funding opportunities

You can write your thesis in the form of publications; see the ECU policy on Thesis with Publication.

GRS runs workshops on Publishing Your Research to guide you through the different forms and quality of publications, authorship issues and the peer-review process.

Authorship issues

Agreement should be reached between you and your supervisors concerning authorship of publications and acknowledgment – during and after candidature – to avoid misunderstandings. There should be open and mutual recognition of the contribution on all published work arising from your research project.

To be considered for authorship, there must be a substantial contribution towards:

  • conception and design of the project;
  • analysis and interpretation of research data; or
  • drafting/revising significant parts of the work.

Some tips for avoiding disputes over authorship:

  • Discuss authorship early in your candidature. Negotiating authorship should occur well before developing any publications.
  • Consider if a paper will be solo or jointly authored. If jointly authored, who will be first author?
  • Keep a record of authorship and other acknowledgements in early drafts of the paper.
  • The first author on a paper should keep a concise written record, which is approved by all authors and describes their contribution to the paper.

For more information, refer to the ECU policy on Authorship, Publication of Research and Peer Review.

Research and intellectual property

Before you can publish your research, you may need to consider intellectual property (IP) implications.

Determining the ownership of IP is complex. Generally, students own the IP they create during their studies.

However there may be other factors involved, such as whether the student is an ECU employee, if there is a third party sponsoring the project or research and whether the IP was developed jointly by a staff member and student.

If your thesis is part of a larger research project, or you have industry or government funding for your project, you need to confirm your IP rights.

Your supervisor and Research Services can provide further information and advice regarding IP rights.

ECU has a policy on Intellectual Property to help guide research students and staff.

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