It is well known that in most fields the order of the authors in a paper gives the authorship, being the first one the best.

Independently of the order in a paper, does being the person that submitted the paper (not the corresponding author) gives any advantage, IP, or academic rep? If it does, is this field dependant, or academic culture dependant?

In examining published papers of employment applicants, I am noticing that authorship position shown on the resumé/CV (first, second, third authors, etc.) do not match those shown in the published papers. Is this significant? The field is cognitive neuroscience. My applicants are often shown as First Author on their CV, but not on the published papers. Is this significant in any way?

We had a master’s student working on our project. He set up a database for us, and wrote some of the initial code with me in a pair programming session. At one point, he had more commits to the repository than any of the other students working on the project. Then he went to do an internship for the summer, and after that my advisor did not want to keep him on the project for some reason, even though I thought he was friendly and easy to work with.

My advisor chose not to list him as a coauthor, and put him in the acknowledgements section instead. However, there was another guy (a professor) who didn’t write any code at all, and wasn’t there throughout most of the project, but he wrote the introduction and related work sections for us, and he got listed as a coauthor, even though he probably did a day’s worth of work on the project (maybe two). In fact, my advisor gave him the coveted last author position, even though my advisor came up with the idea and directed the whole project.

What determines who gets put as a coauthor, and who gets put in the acknowledgement sections?

To my understanding, there are pros and cons to inviting (well respected) researchers to co-author a paper.

Pros: Being a co-author with well-respected researchers puts one in a good light. They can make valuable contributions. You improve your chance of being invited to work on projects with them in future. All these points can advance one’s academic career.

Cons: Too many cooks spoil the broth. There is more chance of conflicting idea and styles, which might lead to frustration and delayed publication. They might not contribute as much as you hoped. More authors means less credit for the work per author.

I would like to hear your views on this.

I am currently working on a scientific software, for which I want to publish a software-announcement paper in a pertaining journal. While I am doing and probably will continue to do the vast majority of the work, it may be that others will contribute in a manner that brings up the question on their authorship on the paper. To avoid disagreements and subsequent issues, I would discuss authorship as early as possible if such a contribution seems plausible.

In a regular paper, the central criterion for authorship is intellectual contributions, while technical contributions such as a straightforward software implementation of some existing algorithm do not qualify. Moreover (at least in my field), it is rather untypical that somebody contributes only a small piece to a paper such the grey zone of authorship is rarely an issue.

In a software-announcement paper, however, I can think of several aspects that could be considered essential and contributors to which could be considered eligible for authorship:

  • Developing new algorithms and approaches. While this is clearly an intellectual contribution and could even justify a paper on its own, not all new scientific software features such a thing. Therefore it cannot be the only aspect qualifying for authorship.

  • Choosing the algorithms and methods to implement.

  • Devising the interface, usually targetting some particular scientific application.

  • Actually writing the software.

  • Testing the software. Given the application, finding proper test cases with a known behaviour can be a challenge on its own.

  • Writing the actual paper.

Moreover, it is much more likely that somebody makes a small, grey-zone contribution such as a bug fix, providing an example for the documentation or testing, suggesting a feature, or similar. This applies in particular if development versions of the software are published.

My target journal does not provide any guidance on this matter and neither could I find any general rules on the Internet. Hence I am asking whether there are any good (preferably established) guidelines on deciding authorship of such a paper, in particular as to which type of contributions can qualify for authorship at all and where to draw the line.

Is it an ethical practice to offer co-authorship on a paper to a graduate student in exchange for proofreading the paper? By proofreading, I mean fixing small grammatical or spelling errors right before manuscript submission, not contributing significant comments to the experimental design or methodology that are later taken into account.

I ask because in my old lab we had several international students and several fluent English speaking grad students, and the fluent English speakers are listed as co-authors on several papers where they have contributed nothing more than small grammar corrections.

This question already has an answer here:

I was a PhD student and was supervised by one bad supervisor. Our relationship broke up at the time when I tried to graduate. After a “fighting”, I successfully graduated. But I left 10 unpublished paper to him. I had no time to publish these paper before I graduate. I put my supervisor’s name there because he was my supervisor. I didn’t really contribute to the paper.

I’m sure the 10 paper can be published as high quality journal paper because I’m currently working as a staff in another University. I’ve published a lot paper expect for those 10 so I know what paper can be published. But as the coauthor, my ex-supervisor “refused” to publish these paper. He always told me he needed to have a look, and nothing else happened. Every time I contact him, he would propose some unreasonable questions or tell me to wait for some time to put off the publication and no reply at all after that. It has been 2 years up to now. None of my 10 paper has been submitted yet. He obviously doesn’t need the paper as a professor, but I need them desperately as a new lecture.

I’ve waited for 2 years for the first out of the 10 paper to be submitted. I couldn’t wait for 20 years for the 10 paper to be submitted. He doesn’t say he want to delete his name from this paper but I have sufficient reason to believe that he doesn’t want me to publish these paper. He warned me that I couldn’t submit the paper without his agreement otherwise he would withdraw the paper. My question is can I kick him out from the coauthor list and publish the paper by myself? Or is there any other suggestion say contacting the University about this situation to solve the problem?

I’m quite annoying as if I couldn’t get rid of him even after I graduate and got my own position. Can anyone help please. Thank you in advance!

I’m re-writing my PhD dissertation as a book manuscript. My dissertation includes in-text citations to back up what I’m saying in almost every sentence – (Doe, 2012). My brief review of academic books on my bookshelf seems to imply that books don’t do this.

  1. I know the audience and purpose of a book is different than a manuscript, but shouldn’t the level (and visibility) of academic rigor be maintained?

  2. In a book manuscript for a university press, how do you go about integrating these citations? Should they just be transferred to footnotes that include the full bibliographic reference? Do you maintain the in-text citation?

I am currently working on a book with several fellow researchers, and there seems to be a disagreement of how the author names should be listed. The book will be published by a major university press and will be listed on its website as well, so the order of names of the authors has become a touchy subject and disagreements ensued. I will describe everything in third-person to objectively portray the situation.

Z is the lead researcher of the project. Z has done more than 90% of the work and everyone seems to see this. Z is a professor.

A and B are staff researchers and their jobs were mostly editing and proofreading. A and B are professors as well.

U, V, W are graduate student researchers and have done the remaining 9% of the work, which were mostly grunt work that do not have particular intellectual value.

Now here is where the situation becomes sticky. The book made its way to a major press and A and B suddenly want a piece of the action. The problem is, Z’s last name is the last in alphabetical order and making A and B authors will push Z’s name to the back of the author list. While Z is considering adding A and B as the authors, U, V, W feel that A and B did not add much value to the book and therefore strongly believe that Z’s name should appear in the front. Some even think that they themselves did more work than A or B, and A’s name and B’s name should not be listed as the author just like them.

Is there are way to resolve such issue? Is there a way to distinguish between the lead author and supporting authors, possibly by forcing the lead author’s name to appear in the front? Or is there a way to make everyone authors of the book but make only the lead author’s name appear in the book cover rendering the other two merely authors in name?

This question already has an answer here:

From August 2015 through August 2016 I was on a Nuclear/Radiation Physics based work placement in a scientific research institute, between my second and third years of my university Maths degree. I am now back at university, half way through my third year.

About half way through my work placement (which I thoroughly enjoyed), my supervisor suggested that the work I was doing could be considered publishable. Being an undergraduate this was (and is) obviously a very exciting prospect. It turned out that we did decide to write a paper, and my supervisor said to be that I would get to be the first author. I don’t understand much, but I’m under the impression that’s something to be excited about too.

I finished with all the analysis and wrote a draft of the paper. It was then time for me to leave my placement and my (now ex-)supervisor are still in correspondence, whilst he finalizes the paper. There have been various (unrelated) issues which have held him back from spending time on it – but he suspects (as it stands) that he will possibly finish it and submit it to a journal by the end of February. He’s basically completely reformatting a lot of the paper, and probably rewriting a whole bunch of it, because being an undergraduate I have no idea how to write a paper. Of course this means that if I do turn out to be first author, my supervisor has probably been very generous.

Long story short – if things go well and the paper is accepted in whichever journal, is this a big deal or nothing to be so bothered about? I ask basically to figure out where this ranks in terms of putting it on a C.V. (or something). Is this something to simply add on as an achievement, or something to really highlight?

I understand my question is really rather ambiguous. Essentially I’m really not sure what to expect under the circumstances that the paper is published – if anything.