News & Publications

SECG Blog: Managing issues around authorship and author order

Meg Polacseck
Sep 2018

One of our SECG members has co-authored a paper on ‘the vexed issue of authorship and author order’. Although this paper was published in a nursing journal, the principles apply to all of us. Not surprisingly, the two things that are crucial to the authorship process are good communication and mutual respect. With those in place, you can negotiate decisions on authorship and author order. While practices differ between disciplines, it would usually be the case that the first author should have made the most significant contribution to the paper; the last author should have made the second most significant contribution to the study or served as a senior academic or mentor on the study; and other authors should be listed in descending order of their contribution.

About the Author

Meg Polacsek is a PhD Candidate with the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University. Her research explores how older adults with depression self-manage their illness in order to optimise wellbeing. She can be contacted at

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