I am currently in a new contractual job and am writing documentation of the software architecture I have implemented as a part of my work This document will be reviewed by third parties. I was asked by my manager to not worry about report formats and just adding a company logo should suffice.

However, I would prefer to add my name as an author simply to gain visibility as I would like to be offered a continuation of my contract and this might come in handy in the future. This document could have a wider readership within the organization.

I just want to know the best practice. I wish to add my name as the author as well as also mention the growing list of reviewers of the document in it.


2 Answers 2


Many organisations track various meta items about document status. As other answers point out, if you have a CMS, it can do it for you, but you might do it the old fashioned way if:

  • you're living with email-based document distribution
  • the distribution and review process crosses org-boundaries such that the reviewers don't have access to your CMS.

With a table that lists who did what. Typical fields:

Version Number Modified By Modifications Made Date Modified Status
1.0 author1 initial 1 April 2000 published

See, https://library.sydney.edu.au/research/data-management/downloads/version-control.docx for a pretty formatted example. (I was going to put this trivial example, but thought just putting a link would look lazy).

So, it depends on the organisation, if it doesn't care about these things, then I wouldn't add them. But maybe there is a template that has all these things in it already that you could find and use.

  • 1
    There is a template but my manager suggested me to ignore it to save time or extra work. I am just interested in finding out the best practice.
    – Inayat
    Jun 30, 2021 at 14:49
  • The company determines "best practices". General best practices are useless if you're the only one that does it. If your manager isn't on board, and he catches you "wasting time" doing "unnecessary" stuff, he can write you up for insubordination, regardless of whether it is best practice or not. Hopefully your boss is not a toxic douche, but they exist.
    – Nelson
    Jul 2, 2021 at 2:55
  • However, if the best practices have real, legal ramifications, say regarding privacy laws or certification requirements, then you still need to comply with whatever idiotic request your manager gave you, but you need to Cover Your Ass, establish clear, traceable paper trail, get corporate legal involved, and make sure the manager is the one that is responsible.
    – Nelson
    Jul 2, 2021 at 2:58

Well, generally you should follow the standards of the organisation and directions of your boss.

But no, it would be unusual for employees or contractors to elect to put in the document themselves that they were the author.

If there is metadata in the document, such as who it was authored by and reviewed by, it would be proper, but the work product itself should not include author information.

Truth be told, all documentation should be managed by some sort of CMS, which is able to track authors / reviewers alongside the content of the document itself.

Your preferences for advertising yourself do not factor into the interests of the business.

  • Thanks for the answer. I would prefer to follow the best practice over my need to advertise myself.
    – Inayat
    Jun 30, 2021 at 12:51

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