A few months ago, I was assigned a task by my lecturer to create a Decision Support System program in a group of three. The task itself was intended as the final assignment of the course. My group discussed for some minutes and in conclusion my idea was accepted because it’s new as far as we know and could really help those who need it.
Unfortunately due to conflicting schedules throughout the last half of the semester I was forced to do it alone. One was on internship and the other guy seemed to be quite difficult to contact.
Well, I don’t care how important they see this assignment, but looking at the deadline I thought I’d rather do it alone than abandoning the assignment. I know it was wrong and foolish, but I needed the grades. I could always teach my group members how to make programs like this one. I thought as long as I ensure they too experience something like what I did in this work, I guess I can let it slide for that single time (of course with a stern warning as a minimum bonus).
OK, so I made the program by myself back then. I asked my other friend about the matter. He was a graduate student and excel at this field to teach me whether my program was effective enough or not. He was surprised that I made the program alone and told me that he thought this work I’ve done might be eligible to submit as a scientific paper. I’ve pondered over it and I think he could be right.
As a side note this other friend I’m talking about is actually the one whose master’s thesis inspired me to make this DSS.
Then here comes the problem. I want to publish this as my first scientific paper but if I included my groupmates’ names it would be a problem. A big problem as they didn’t do the work themselves. But at the same time I think it would be weird if I suddenly publish it under my name only.
As they too have their names written on the student’s report (and I can’t really change that), do I need to make some kind of an agreement letter that state they grant all the research materials to me?
Please notice that I’m asking about authorship. I’ve learned that it was foolish of me to write their names on the report.
I certainly need to ask my lecturer’s opinion about the material, but my predicament above (or perhaps my guilty conscience) barred me from directly asking the lecturer.
I want to limit my question to authorship matter. Thank you. 🙂