I recently received a rejection to a paper that I co-authored with my advisor. There was nothing wrong with the content but the reviewer believed it was too simple by the journal standards. My advisor’s advisor who has more that 30 years expertise in the field has suggested to combine the paper with its sequel (which I was in the process of writing) and submit elsewhere. While I am getting ready to do the same my advisor has asked to remove his name from the paper. This worries me a little. It makes me think that the paper isn’t good enough and that is why my advisor want to disassociate himself from it. Could there be any other reason why my advisor is doing so? Should I ask him?

Thank you.

I published a paper late 2016. Recently I noticed that the published manuscript has a typo error in one of the authors affiliation. But it got indexed correctly on all databases under that author. Will it be good to contact the journal now to rectify the mistake or should I not care about that much as anyway it got indexed correctly? If I contact the journal almost after an year, will it affect the reputation of the authors? Also one of the student is going to use this paper for his PhD thesis. Considering this fact should, what is the best strategy to handle this ? Any recommendations?

I am not in a field in which large (15-20+ authors) collaborations are common. However, I have always been interested in how authorship is distributed in those cases, particularly for extremely large collaborations (i.e., hundreds to thousands of collaborators).

How is it determined whether someone has had a signifficant contribution to yield authorship (i.e., why are there 436 authors and not 437 or 435)? How are authors listed (I know that LIGO, for instance, lists alphabetically)? How does one determine the major contributor? How is the paper drafted? Does everyone in the collaboration approve the paper?

I have never published a paper before but I am wondering in the case of a collaboration, how this collaboration should be acknowledged to the reader in different situations.

Specifically, I am wondering whether there is an (internationally accepted?) “rule-book of academic etiquette” with a set of rules regarding questions such as:

  1. If person A has contributed more than person B to a paper, how should this be made clear to the readers?

  2. If person A has contributed more than person B, where is the line between B being recognized as a co-author, or simply thanked in the acknowledgements?

  3. If person A has supplied all the theoretical/mathematical analysis, and person B all the empirical analysis in a paper, how should this be communicated to the reader?

Are there standardized rules about questions like this? If so, is there some kind of resource I could consult?

I finished my PhD studies about a year ago, and am no longer working at the university. My supervisor, and co-author of three papers, urged me to work with him on the fourth paper in order to get it published. In fact, his contribution to the paper was very small. He should act as corresponding author and deal with the submission, which — I thought — would be a relieve. However, this did not work out. First, he made changes to the revised version of our manuscript before submitting it, which resulted in a revised paper among other things missing a figure.

The paper was accepted anyway, and we received the uncorrected proofs. I cannot say exactly why, but although I told him I am working on it (which he said did not notice), my co-author just submitted the corrected proofs without my knowledge. Now, among other errors, a whole paragraph is missing, and I fear this version of the paper is published online very soon.

I am really disappointed and angry. I make a lot of mistakes myself, and I do not expect my co-author to agree in everything I write, but does team work not imply that you inform your team before submitting the final work?

Of course, I tried to submit a revised version of the corrected proofs and convince the journal to use these, but I assume this is pointless. Once the proofs are uploaded there is usually nothing that can be done.

Maybe, there is no real question here, besides: What can I do now?

Some weeks ago a company contacted me via email. In summary, they offer to pay you if you include a co-author. They also need you to sign an agreement with your University and them. So, from one side, it seems kind of legal (since in the agreement they state “sponsorship”), but from the other side, these practices, I am afraid could lead to unexpected retractions, due to the likely unethical side of the business.

Is this kind of service illegal or unethical?

Some weeks ago a company contacted me via email. In summary, they offer to pay you if you include a co-author. They also need you to sign an agreement with your University and them. So, from one side, it seems kind of legal (since in the agreement they state “sponsorship”), but from the other side, these practices, I am afraid could lead to unexpected retractions, due to the likely unethical side of the business. So I would like to know if any of you are using this service and what is your opinion of such deals.

Some weeks ago a company called innoscience.org contacted me via email. In summary, they are from Malaysia and I understand they offer you to pay you if you include one Chinese co-author. They also need you to sign an agreement with your University and them. So, from one side, it seems kind of legal (since in the agreement they state “sponsorship”), but from the other side, these practices, I am afraid could lead to unexpected retractions, due to the likely unethical side of the business. So I would like to know if any of you are using this service and what is your opinion of such deals.

A lot of backstory but I will try to be brief. I am employee of USA university but work abroad at a research nonprofit serving industry. My assigned handlers at the research nonprofit have power to ban me from the facility, which would lead to unemployment and loss of residency. Access to the facility is a type of funding. The (non-scientist) handlers don’t help train me on equipment, get access to the facility and resources, don’t plan experiments, don’t collect or analyze data, etc. When I was starting out and asked them for help they indicated I was external and any issues I had with access or training were my own problem, and that asking them for help was inconveniencing them from their own work activities.

Generally they are mean to me and take away opportunities to present my data to the industry sponsors which are afforded to my peers at research nonprofit who are internal. They invoke the contract which gives them all discretion in this area. My USA bosses threaten me with them banning me from the facility if I do not make slides about my data and let them present it. When they present my data in situations where they don’t think I will be able to see, they just put their own name next to it, not mine or any of the USA people/institutions. My friendly colleagues who do see such presentations then show me what they are doing. I kept my head down and worked independently of them for a year and a half to get data in this tough situation. Now that my contract is up and they can’t hold employment/residency as leverage anymore I would like to publish my data ethically and independent of the handlers that do not satisfy any criteria for authorship I am aware of.

Including the handlers as coauthors would also be against the Publication Policy for the research nonprofit and EU university that handles my Visa. However USA universities I am aware of do not have a written Publication Policy and research nonprofit would likely defer to the USA universities in a formal dispute. USA bosses say I need to put handlers as coauthors because not doing so would threaten the project. Since they presented the slides I authored to industry they say that counts as coauthorship of any publication resulting from my time here. Also the handlers are managers of some of my peers who did contribute to my work. What I see as threats of being banned from the facility if I do not list them as coauthors are actually a type of direct support of me that I should be rewarding them with coauthorship.

Sorry, I feel that was already too long. Any advice on how to handle this? Just don’t write the paper? Create a messy dispute? Acquiesce? I already have 30 or so papers, so while I would like to show productivity from this stint it won’t make or break my next career move.

Let’s say a research assistant has provided help on conducting a literature review and that some of the references are eventually used in a published paper. Would the research assistant normally get some kind of acknowledgment or authorship if they did not contribute any written material?