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Authorship issue


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#1 Sora

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 08:55 PM

Im just wondering....is it worth fighting for a 2nd authorship when you're being given a 3rd. The current 2nd author had left the lab ages ago and had no intellectual involvement in the study. Im just kinda pissed because the 1st author had promised me a 2nd authorship and just flipped it without telling me or showing me the final version of the paper.I think this was unethical and deceitful! I don't want to confront the 1st author, but is it even worth doing it for a 2nd authorship?

I also feel bad for a collaborator who actually discovered a certain effect and reported it to our lab (with nice figures and stuff). The first author just decided to repeat what the collaborator had done and now has the privilege of publishing it without even mentioning the collaborator (not even in the acknowledgement section). I wanted to ask the 1st author about it but I did not want to interfere in other people's business.

Im itching to return the deceitful favor.....but nah...I don't wanna stoop down to that level. I wish I had the heart to actually report some of the wrong doings to the journal (and the collaborator)...especially how some of the experiments were carried out and have been reported to be statistically significant (I talked to the first author several times about it, but nah, wouldn't budge)!

Edited by Sora, 12 June 2011 - 08:56 PM.


#2 casandra

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 05:31 AM

Im just wondering....is it worth fighting for a 2nd authorship when you're being given a 3rd. The current 2nd author had left the lab ages ago and had no intellectual involvement in the study. Im just kinda pissed because the 1st author had promised me a 2nd authorship and just flipped it without telling me or showing me the final version of the paper.I think this was unethical and deceitful! I don't want to confront the 1st author, but is it even worth doing it for a 2nd authorship?

I also feel bad for a collaborator who actually discovered a certain effect and reported it to our lab (with nice figures and stuff). The first author just decided to repeat what the collaborator had done and now has the privilege of publishing it without even mentioning the collaborator (not even in the acknowledgement section). I wanted to ask the 1st author about it but I did not want to interfere in other people's business.

Im itching to return the deceitful favor.....but nah...I don't wanna stoop down to that level. I wish I had the heart to actually report some of the wrong doings to the journal (and the collaborator)...especially how some of the experiments were carried out and have been reported to be statistically significant (I talked to the first author several times about it, but nah, wouldn't budge)!

but the first author is not the PI, eh? So howcome he/she has full control of the paper eg the lineup of authors, whose results/figures will be included etc? If you feel that there are indeed ethical issues that were breached and manipulation of data (scientific fraud), then you have to go confront the first author and if s/he's not willing to discuss these, then it's time to go to a higher authority...you can probably let the authorship issue slide but "tampering" of data is a very serious offence (though it probably happens more often than we think). At the very least, you need another expert to weigh in on this if such were the case....bec you can also be just biased against this person already or your suspicions have very little merit...btw, are you a grad student?
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
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#3 hobglobin

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 05:42 AM

Im itching to return the deceitful favor.....but nah...I don't wanna stoop down to that level. I wish I had the heart to actually report some of the wrong doings to the journal (and the collaborator)...especially how some of the experiments were carried out and have been reported to be statistically significant (I talked to the first author several times about it, but nah, wouldn't budge)!

And every author is responsible for the content of a paper, also the second and third. I wonder if you then really want to be author of such a paper at all. I'd try to avoid this.

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...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

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#4 newborn

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:54 PM

One thing you may not know is that the idea may be from the second author. If you are sure that it is not the case, you can ask the first author whether you can be the second author?

If the paper is a big one, please fight for it. If not, it is not worth to waste your time on that.

#5 leelee

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:18 PM

This is how I thought authorship went: (so I've been told....)
First author- bulk of the experimental work, bulk of the intellectual contribution
Last author- supervisor/head of lab/funding recipient/also involved in intellectual contribution and sometimes experimental too
Middle- all considered to have made equal contribution (unless specified otherwise), so order irrelevant

I could be wrong.......???......have I been incorrectly informed??

As for your situation- I don't know if I'd want to put my name on a paper if it is true what you say (ideas and experiments stolen, data manipulated etc). Its better to have no publication than to have an unethical/contentious one. In my opinion anyway.

#6 rhombus

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:15 AM

This is how I thought authorship went: (so I've been told....)
First author- bulk of the experimental work, bulk of the intellectual contribution
Last author- supervisor/head of lab/funding recipient/also involved in intellectual contribution and sometimes experimental too
Middle- all considered to have made equal contribution (unless specified otherwise), so order irrelevant

I could be wrong.......???......have I been incorrectly informed??

As for your situation- I don't know if I'd want to put my name on a paper if it is true what you say (ideas and experiments stolen, data manipulated etc). Its better to have no publication than to have an unethical/contentious one. In my opinion anyway.


Dear Sora,

Completely agree with Leelee's comments:
1st Author writes the paper and has made the most contribution to it.
Last author is generally the PI/Professor/Director of the Institute.
The middle authors ...and that can be a lot of them...amke an equal contribution.


That's my take on the situation.

Kindest regards.

Uncle Rhombus.

#7 newborn

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:51 PM

The order is somehow important, at my place the second author is usuallly a second supervisor.
I heard that the credit can be calculated as the follow formula: Contribution = 1/n (n is the order of the author). The first author and CA are equal 1.




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