Recommendation on guidelines for stating affiliations in publications

Recommendation by the 24th General Meeting of the HRK, 24.4.2018

In the research context, the Latin/English concept of “affiliation” describes the author's affiliation with, or membership of, one or more research organisations. The association of authors with institutions is extremely important in academic competition. Higher education institutions and non-university research institutions are often judged by the publications attributed to them in national and international comparisons and rankings. Appropriate listing of institutional affiliation is made more difficult, however, if authors belong to more than one institution, for example due to joint appointments to professorships by university and non-university institutions, due to positions being held at more than one institution, or as part of an inter-institutional doctoral training programme. Confusion about institutional affiliation could also arise due to (cross-border) mobility or extended guest researcher visits over the course of a research and publication process.

In view of the situation described, higher education institutions have formulated the following guidelines for the attribution of research work. They will make these guidelines known to their academic staff, students and doctoral candidates as well as to guest researchers, and will ensure their implementation.

1.    As a general rule, an institutional affiliation that should be listed is established by an employment relationship/professorship or appointment (including as an extraordinary professor), by admission to a course of study or acceptance as a doctoral candidate at a university.
2.    If there is more than one permanent affiliation, for example through a joint appointment to a professorship or an inter-institutional doctoral training programme, all the relevant institutions are to be listed in publications and personal identifiers.
3.    In the case of casual academic staff and scholarship-holders, where the publication is directly connected with work at the host institution, the host institution should also be listed.
4.    In the case of temporary affiliation with another institution in addition to the home institution, the former can be named as an additional affiliation if substantial research work was carried out there. This applies, for example, to an extended but fixed-term research visit at a guest institution.
5.    In the case of a change of institution during the research and publication process, the institution at which the research work was principally performed is to be listed in all cases. If relevant portions of the research work took place at both institutions, both institutions are to be listed.
6.    Every higher education institution will clearly define its name in German and English.

To promote consistent implementation when listing institutional affiliation and in order to avoid conflicting demands on authors, the higher education institutions call on their national and international research partner institutions to introduce equivalent regulations.