It is understood that the lead author takes primary responsibility for the content of a manuscript. To be listed as a co-author, each person must, at the barest minimum, have read, critiqued and/or responded substantively to drafts of the manuscript provided by the lead author. Even in the event of no changes, a co-author needs to provide some evidence of having engaged with the ideas in the manuscript. A co-author cannot, and should not, be included without consent.
There is a presumption that any publications resulting from collaboration with SEACO will result in one or more SEACO researchers being co-authors. This presumption follows the necessary contribution of SEACO researchers to the project. No publication will be submitted from any SEACO collaborations without discussion of the manuscript and the authorship with the appropriate SEACO researcher from the early conceptual stages.
The presumption of authorship does not mean that SEACO researchers are automatically co-authors on papers without contributing. It does mean that SEACO researchers should be provided with the opportunity to be included as legitimate co-authors on manuscripts. The waiving of the presumption of authorship should be confirmed by the lead author in writing.
Application and interpretation of the Montreal Statement in SEACO
Within SEACO, the term 'partner' has a specific meaning, and refers to the institutional partners that sit on the SEACO Governing Board. The term 'partner' in the Montreal statement is a reference to a collaboration of researchers across institutions. Thus, phrases such as "collaborating partners" should, for the purposes of SEACO, be understood as "collaborating researchers" working in partnership on one or more research projects.
Communication. One of the reasons for using the SEACO research platform is that it has the necessary infrastructure to manage and support community-based research. Part of that support is the communications infrastructure, to allow collaborating researchers to monitor the progress of the research from anywhere in the world. This infrastructure is currently in development. Even at this phase or the next, collaborating researchers should always feel able to email the Project Manager. SEACO is also committed to providing regular updates at agreed milestones.
Agreements. Collaborations with SEACO should always be supported by written agreements. Where there is no written agreement, the broad guiding principles of the Montreal Statement will apply, as will a clear presumption of fairness and integrity by all parties. The exceptions to the unnecessary restriction on the dissemination of data are:
- Where the research is purely commercial in nature, such as a Pharmaceutical Trial, and there are confidentiality issues;
- Where there are Intellectual Property matters that might be jeopardised by hasty publication, or;
- Where one of the collaborating researchers is from the Malaysian government and legally binding restrictions apply.
Compliance with Laws, Policies and Regulations. It must be taken into account that every project/research must always be compliant with the laws, policies and regulations set, with no exception. It should also be noted that all research requiring institutional ethics committee approval must be approved by the appropriate Monash University institutional ethics committee, as well as any other required ethics committees.
Costs and Rewards. The community of Segamat has always been a major collaborator in SEACO research. Consequently, the rewards must be fairly disseminated within the community.
Data, Intellectual Property and Research Records. There is a presumption that SEACO keeps a copy of all data collected as part of a research collaboration; and that data will be shared as widely as possible. Data includes self-report data, images, video recordings, audio recordings, field notes, physical measurements, biological samples, chemical samples, outputs of analyses of biological or chemical samples, etc. These data are then linked back into the SEACO database and become available to others in future research. This means that if blood samples are taken as a part of a research collaboration with SEACO, then the results of any tests applied to those samples must be made available to SEACO at the same time that it is made available to the other collaborating researchers. Furthermore, it must be made available in a form agreed with SEACO.
Where samples are drawn, they may only be used for the analyses agreed between the research collaborators and SEACO. Where the samples are not fully consumed, the residuals will be transferred to SEACO for storage/disposal.
Data (including samples) collected as part of a research collaboration with SEACO are embargoed for an agreed period of time (or 12 months where a written agreement does not exist). After that period, the data becomes available to support other research collaborations with SEACO.
Publications, Authorship and Acknowledgement. There is a presumption that any publications resulting from a research collaboration with SEACO will result in one or more SEACO researchers being co-authors or in some cases the principal author. This presumption follows the necessary contribution of SEACO researchers to the project, and is not intended to, nor does it, violate the Monash University Authorship Policy. No publication will be submitted from a SEACO collaboration without (from the early conceptual stages) having discussed the manuscript and the authorship with the appropriate SEACO researchers from the early conceptual stages. Where disputes arise about co-authorship, the matter will be referred to the independent Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) for final determination.
The exception to the presumption of co-authorship arises either when, the data have specifically been made available as a public use dataset, or; there is a written agreement voiding the presumption.
The presumption of authorship does not mean that SEACO researchers are put on papers without contributing. It does mean that SEACO researchers should be provided with appropriate opportunities to be included as legitimate authors on manuscripts. The situation may arise where SEACO researchers feel that they cannot, should not, or will not contribute to a manuscript, and under these circumstances there would be no presumption of authorship. The waiving of the presumption of authorship, however, should be confirmed in writing by collaborating researchers.
All publications resulting from a SEACO research collaboration will carry the following acknowledgement: "The research described in this paper was supported by the South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO, https://www.monash.edu.my/seaco). The views, however, are those of the authors’ and there is no real or implied endorsement by SEACO"