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About the order of corresponding authors (2 c.a.)


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#1 BlooDemon

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:02 AM

Hi everyone,

i got a quick question. We are planning on publishing our ms that have two corresponding authors. So what does determine the order of these two corresponding authors? which one is much more important or responsible? the last one? thanks!

leo

#2 hobglobin

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:03 AM

As a rule of thumb, usually the first author is the dude how did the actual work (in the lab and a lot of the writing) and is most important, the next are co-authors (no idea about the order) and the last is the big boss (e.g. supervisor, PI, director of the department, grey eminence with a well known name).
But this is true for biologists, others use alphabetic lists or order them according to the contribution.
Some journals already ask for a description what each author contributed in a footnote (e.g. PNAS).

One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

That is....if she posts at all.


#3 BlooDemon

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:58 AM

As a rule of thumb, usually the first author is the dude how did the actual work (in the lab and a lot of the writing) and is most important, the next are co-authors (no idea about the order) and the last is the big boss (e.g. supervisor, PI, director of the department, grey eminence with a well known name).
But this is true for biologists, others use alphabetic lists or order them according to the contribution.
Some journals already ask for a description what each author contributed in a footnote (e.g. PNAS).


Hobglobin, thanks for your prompt reply. i knew what you just input. What confuses me, however, is the order of corresponding authors. e.g. we have 5 authors in the manuscript, 2 of them are the corresponding authors. At the same time, none of them is first author but last two in order. So how to determine the order of these two corresponding authors? who is the more important one? the last one? i have been told the last c.a. as a bigger boss is much more responsible for the whole paper stuff. Is that right?
thanks!

#4 leelee

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:17 PM

I don't know that I've ever seen two corresponding authors before (but perhaps I don't pay enough attention to that). Why do you even need more than one? Why not just make it the lab head and leave it at that?

I wasn't even aware that it counts for anything anyway- but was merely just the contact person should any reader want to ask a question.

#5 gebirgsziege

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:01 AM

never came across two corresponding authors - although some journals give contact info of all authors.

Usually either the first or last author are corresponding author - unless we wanted to state obviously that the second/second last author contributed as much as the first and last author did (does this make sense) by spotlighting the person as corresponding author

c.a. usually is the person most capable of answering questions and also most likely to be around some time after the paper is published - because if you are a master student you probably "disappear" into industry, your uni email will be inactivated and people having questions will have nobody to contact....
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#6 hobglobin

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:15 AM

yes (and I was confused with co-authors and corresponding authors Posted Image so deleted my last post and should read more carefully)...
I guess it also depends on the journal if they want or can accept this or not.
Anyway a corresponding author and especially the first one surely has also a special importance as he or she takes over then most of the resulting dialogue the paper generates.

One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

That is....if she posts at all.


#7 leelee

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:42 PM

Anyway a corresponding author and especially the first one surely has also a special importance as he or she takes over then most of the resulting dialogue the paper generates.


I suppose you could say they get the benefit of having contact with other scientists for potential collaborations etc etc, but I don't think there is any benefit in terms of your track record or CV.

I think it makes most sense (and is fairest) for the corresponding author to be someone who will be at the lab long term- like the lab head or most senior person. After all, although the work may be the result of the hard work of the first author (and others), the funding, lab space, research topic etc etc are all the "property" of the lab and not the individual scientist, if that makes sense.
It would be silly to be the corresponding author if you are a student or early post-doc because you may well leave the lab in a short time, possibly even changing research fields. Its no good if 3 years down the track someone tries to contact you for a collaboration and your email is no longer valid, and don't work there anymore.
Just my 2 cents.

#8 leelee

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:43 PM

Anyway a corresponding author and especially the first one surely has also a special importance as he or she takes over then most of the resulting dialogue the paper generates.


I suppose you could say they get the benefit of having contact with other scientists for potential collaborations etc etc, but I don't think there is any benefit in terms of your track record or CV.

I think it makes most sense (and is fairest) for the corresponding author to be someone who will be at the lab long term- like the lab head or most senior person. After all, although the work may be the result of the hard work of the first author (and others), the funding, lab space, research topic etc etc are all the "property" of the lab and not the individual scientist, if that makes sense.
It would be silly to be the corresponding author if you are a student or early post-doc because you may well leave the lab in a short time, possibly even changing research fields. Its no good if 3 years down the track someone tries to contact you for a collaboration and your email is no longer valid, and don't work there anymore.
Just my 2 cents.

#9 gebirgsziege

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:24 PM

It would be silly to be the corresponding author if you are a student or early post-doc because you may well leave the lab in a short time, possibly even changing research fields. Its no good if 3 years down the track someone tries to contact you for a collaboration and your email is no longer valid, and don't work there anymore.


if you want to stay in science it becomes more and more important along the line that you have senior and corresponding authorships - because many grants are first evaluated: how many publications does the PI have (which you will have to become if you stay in science long enough) and how many are as first (i.e. done the actual work) and how many as last/corresponding (i.e. the person telling others what to do and how to do it).......because you will have to supervise people sometime down the line and publications with you as corresponding/senior author show that your are able to do so productively. However you should have been involved in the supervison - and not only claim the place ;)

many institutions offer you to keep your email once you left if you have had a paper which gives it as corresponding contact. You might have to ask your department, and probably end up with tons of email accounts, but people will be able to contact you a few years after the paper was published. And if a paper is older than two/three years and I want to contact one of the authors I ceck anyway if they are at still working at the same institution.........
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#10 leelee

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:44 PM

Do they actually give weight to the fact that you are the corresponding author though- I would have thought that being the senior author speaks for itself.

I agree with the points you make, perhaps I am not being clear with mine Posted Image

I just struggle to see how being the corresponding author adds extra weight to a first or final authorship position. Surely they are the valuable positions in their own right, regardless? I get that the officially speaking, the corresponding author is usually considered the "guarantor" of the quality and integrity of the work. But does that have more value than being the senior author? And isn't it implied that the senior author should have that kind of input anyway?

I'm not saying I'm right, its just that I've never heard of it used as a measure of evaluating someone's track record, and it seems strange to me that it would be...

For example, when you list your publications on your CV, you don't include who was the corresponding author- and I can't imagine anyone at funding bodies taking the time to search each one to check who was the corresponding author.

I suppose its irrelevant most of the time anyway, as it appears to me to be convention that the senior author is also the corresponding author. Perhaps this is assumed?

#11 gebirgsziege

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:52 PM

leelee I agree with you - first and senior author are improtant on their own. Coresponding authors usually gives extra weight to a second author who contributed equally to the work but is listed second and not first for what ever reason (alphabetical order, careere stage or whatever was used to decide). What I mean is that A, B, C, D, E and F have published a paper and A and B have contributed equally to the work (indicated by an asteriks or whatever). Means A and B are both first authors in terms of CV etc - but to make this more obvious to the reader B is corresponding author as well - because usually you look for the first and last author of a paper to see who was in charge of it.
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#12 leelee

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:04 AM

Ah I see, I'm with you now :)

(sorry for hijacking your thread, BlooDemon!) Posted Image

#13 BlooDemon

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:59 PM

leelee I agree with you - first and senior author are improtant on their own. Coresponding authors usually gives extra weight to a second author who contributed equally to the work but is listed second and not first for what ever reason (alphabetical order, careere stage or whatever was used to decide). What I mean is that A, B, C, D, E and F have published a paper and A and B have contributed equally to the work (indicated by an asteriks or whatever). Means A and B are both first authors in terms of CV etc - but to make this more obvious to the reader B is corresponding author as well - because usually you look for the first and last author of a paper to see who was in charge of it.


so you mean, basically, the last corresponding author is more responsible than the second last one in a paper with two corresponding authors as last two in order?


leeleePosted Image , you make me more clear-cut about author order stuff in a paper.




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