Author names on poster/paper

posted
03-Mar-18, 15:28
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 9 months ago
This obviously varies from place to place! Doing what is the norm at your place sounds good advice. I do think that it depends on so many factors though - some not considered here yet. For instance, I know that some supervisors would consider adding the person who helped out as an author if they were inviting them to contribute to the writing up part. They might invite them to do that because they want to give them the experience of writing up, and because of other factors, such as perhaps they are a prospective PhD student, and they want to keep the relationship going... On the other hand, if the person helping out was literally just helping out and will be disappearing, cutting ties doesn't seem to be an issue. Just acknowledge them. Also, I think it matters on your own current situation. If you don't have any single author papers, for instance, then this would be something you might want to achieve. Including the person who helped just for the sake of it doesn't make sense.

As I mentioned, I did loads of RA work without being put on any papers. At the time, my priority was gain research experience, and the people I did it for were happy to have someone helping them out. Some was paid, some unpaid. A friend of mine did similar stuff to gain experience during/following her Masters, and she HAS been asked to co-author. I think it is because she intends to continue working with those individuals on the same topic and has been part of making substantive decisions on it (she is applying for a PhD with them).

Maybe ask yourself: what was their contribution (i.e., helping out, assisting in certain tasks vs. substantive contribution), and ii) what is the context (i.e., do you want to help them further by giving them experience with writing and publishing and potentially continue working with them - or was this just someone helping you out and now they're moving on).
posted
03-Mar-18, 15:31
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 9 months ago
Ps. If you did add them, you would have to invite them to be further involved... they'd have to contribute to the poster and the paper as an author (or at least check it over to say they were happy with it - which would seem odd given that it is your work/they're not the supervisor).
posted
03-Mar-18, 19:30
edited a moment later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From pm133:
3 things concern me here ToL.
Firstly, you used the phrase "just a Masters student".
Seconldy, you have admitted using a Masters student to do essentially technician level work which you dont want to do.
Finally, you say it us common for Masters students to be given work that others have done before because they are expected to fail anyway.

I think there is a serious problem here and it appears to be systemic within your department. Masters students are supposed to be engaging in proper research in preparation for the workplace or a PhD, not just fobbed off with routine work. It sounds like your department's Masters students are being seriously short changed.

Have I misunderstood something here?


Let me clarify:

1. Just a masters student, because it's a 4 month research project at the end of a taught undergraduate masters. I don't think there's a requirement for original contribution to research in undergraduate projects. A research masters is different - these students have their own original projects.
2. It's not technician level work, it's PhD/postdoc level work - that's one of the reasons I need to provide a lot of guidance.
3. Not because they are expected to fail anyway, because it's such a short time period they are unlikely to achieve much.

I
posted
03-Mar-18, 19:32
edited about 5 minutes later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Dunham:


In my opinion, it depends on the individual case. We have sometimes big projects with many students because the workload would otherwise be impossible to handle. They get told what to do, get paid very well for their (mostly repetitive) work and there are a lot of them. You would have 15 additional names on the paper if you would acknowledge them beyond the acknowledgment section. Fine to leave them off the author list.
In case of a bachelor or a master project where they do whole experiments by themselves, interpret the data gathered, do the stats etc. (the stuff usually necessary to pass a bachelor or master thesis) and you publish the very same data then they should be definitely on the authorlist. Many of my colleagues have master students as second authors on their papers.


I agree with this - this is what I am familiar with. And agree with your later post.
posted
03-Mar-18, 19:37
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From starryeyed:
What pm133 said is quite right. Second autorship for the student is right in this case, both in the poster and in the paper (or if anybody else contributes, rank them in the level of contribution, still including the student). She did your research after all - you taught her to do it. Who she is and what she's going to do with it does not matter, give credit when it's due. And one must look carefully at letting people develop, and not exploit them. Actually, guiding the student to do actual research you might have accidentally created a proper researcher, think about it.


Trust me, this person has developed a lot under my guidance. They are very good already and I have got them up to the level I was half way through my PhD. I'm not trying to exploit them, merely trying to get the results I need, whilst teaching them. I would say the difference between what I'm doing and what other supervisors would do, is I am stepping in when they are going to make a mistake, and showing them the better way to do it to get results faster, rather than letting them bumble along and find out for themselves the hard way, like I had to.

I am happy to credit them with authorship if that's the correct thing to do, I'm just gathering opinions on whether it is.
posted
03-Mar-18, 19:39
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Ps. If you did add them, you would have to invite them to be further involved... they'd have to contribute to the poster and the paper as an author (or at least check it over to say they were happy with it - which would seem odd given that it is your work/they're not the supervisor).


Yes I would do this if I was adding them to the author list. I agree this is a requirement.
posted
03-Mar-18, 20:05
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
[quote]
Yes I would do this if I was adding them to the author list. I agree this is a requirement.


Then I think that answers your question in a round about kind of way. It is entirely up to you. Do you wish to continue to supervise/collaborate further with this person, or would you rather leave it at that.
posted
04-Mar-18, 22:52
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Quote From pm133:
3 things concern me here ToL.
Firstly, you used the phrase "just a Masters student".
Seconldy, you have admitted using a Masters student to do essentially technician level work which you dont want to do.
Finally, you say it us common for Masters students to be given work that others have done before because they are expected to fail anyway.

I think there is a serious problem here and it appears to be systemic within your department. Masters students are supposed to be engaging in proper research in preparation for the workplace or a PhD, not just fobbed off with routine work. It sounds like your department's Masters students are being seriously short changed.

Have I misunderstood something here?


Let me clarify:

1. Just a masters student, because it's a 4 month research project at the end of a taught undergraduate masters. I don't think there's a requirement for original contribution to research in undergraduate projects. A research masters is different - these students have their own original projects.
2. It's not technician level work, it's PhD/postdoc level work - that's one of the reasons I need to provide a lot of guidance.
3. Not because they are expected to fail anyway, because it's such a short time period they are unlikely to achieve much.

I


Then the only question you need to ask is whether you could have progressed to where you are now on the project without them.
If not, you have a duty to include them in the author list. This is a complete no brainer from where I am sitting.
posted
04-Mar-18, 22:53
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Quote From TreeofLife:
[quote]
Yes I would do this if I was adding them to the author list. I agree this is a requirement.


Then I think that answers your question in a round about kind of way. It is entirely up to you. Do you wish to continue to supervise/collaborate further with this person, or would you rather leave it at that.


Are you suggesting ToL makes this decision based on whether they want to work with that student again?
posted
05-Mar-18, 09:05
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Ps. If you did add them, you would have to invite them to be further involved... they'd have to contribute to the poster and the paper as an author (or at least check it over to say they were happy with it - which would seem odd given that it is your work/they're not the supervisor).


This isn't odd in my experience - all authors get the chance to see the poster/paper and to contribute comments before it goes out. I did this as a student.
posted
05-Mar-18, 11:58
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From pm133:


Then the only question you need to ask is whether you could have progressed to where you are now on the project without them.
If not, you have a duty to include them in the author list. This is a complete no brainer from where I am sitting.


Well, of course I could have. In a fraction of the time. I just wouldn't have been able to work on it until the summer, so I would haven't any progress right now, if that's what you mean.
posted
05-Mar-18, 13:33
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Quote From TreeofLife:
[quote]
Yes I would do this if I was adding them to the author list. I agree this is a requirement.


Then I think that answers your question in a round about kind of way. It is entirely up to you. Do you wish to continue to supervise/collaborate further with this person, or would you rather leave it at that.


Are you suggesting ToL makes this decision based on whether they want to work with that student again?


If you read my earlier comments you'll see I think that the decision needs to be based on quite a few factors. However, the way it seems to be going is that there is no clear cut answer here. Probably, the student hasn't contributed to the science and doesn't warrant being an author, otherwise ToL would have no issues just adding them (just a guess). If this is the case, BUT some more stuff is going to come out of this - and they are going to contribute substantively to that (e.g., the paper, future work based on it), then adding them would seem a good idea. If not, then leaving them off would make no difference. They haven't contributed substantively and so ToL has no obligation to add them, and shouldn't do unless there is some other reason to - such as the one I've tried to describe here.

Just my view. Hope this clarifies.
posted
05-Mar-18, 13:41
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 9 months ago
I collected data and did the stats for a project - and wasn't added to the paper! No hard feelings! I was learning and getting paid... I was a part-time RA... I wasn't formally part of the research group at the time... the person I was doing it for was an early stage researcher, and stood more to gain by being a single author (or one of a small number of authors) than adding me on when I was simply a student following instructions (and gaining experience and dosh). Some people might find this extreme judging by comments on this thread. But really - I had no say in the original idea for the project and didn't make any substantive decisions about anything... I was just doing a favour and getting experience for myself. That's how things are done in my department.

If, on the other hand, I'd grown really interested in the work, and had some ideas of my own, and fed them in, and we'd come up with new ideas together of what to pursue next... maybe applying for a PhD under that person's supervision, I think that would have been different... I'd have had some ownership for the project, and would probably have been asked to write up the intro and results or something (and be a named author) - or design a poster (and be a named author on that).
posted
05-Mar-18, 14:09
edited about 42 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Quote From pm133:


Then the only question you need to ask is whether you could have progressed to where you are now on the project without them.
If not, you have a duty to include them in the author list. This is a complete no brainer from where I am sitting.


Well, of course I could have. In a fraction of the time. I just wouldn't have been able to work on it until the summer, so I would haven't any progress right now, if that's what you mean.


Yes, I meant right now. Look at what you have right now. Remove the student's contribution. What do you have left?
posted
05-Mar-18, 14:17
edited about 6 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Ps. If you did add them, you would have to invite them to be further involved... they'd have to contribute to the poster and the paper as an author (or at least check it over to say they were happy with it - which would seem odd given that it is your work/they're not the supervisor).


Not necessarily. I have a person in my author list for one of my papers who contributed early on in a project but then moved to another job outside science. They had no hand in the review of the paper. The journal assumes they have no problem with the paper unless they hear from each author. He was included because he was part of the team collaborating on the work. It cost me precisely 10 seconds to add him to the list of authors (of which there were 4). I didnt spend days agonising over it. It wasnt a difficult decision. You contribute to my paper in a meaningful way and you get your name on it. I cant see why on earth people would get all precious about this stuff. Rightful inclusion is not only ethical, it prevents all manner of unneccesary problems in the future and everyone knows exactly where they stand on day one. For a young Masters student to know their name is going on the paper is a massive thrill. They work hard for me, they earn the recognition which comes from it. That goes for any "technicians" too. I dont use the phrase "just" when describing someone else helping me out. Maybe that is why I dont see a problem with adding them.

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766