Monday, October 16, 2006

Concerning co-authorship

A completely unattributable friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend thing, but I thought it was too funny to pass up:
One of my co-authors on the paper sent me exactly one email, that is to say that he should be included in the author list. And this was only in response to an email to which I attached a version of the paper which did not have his name on the author list.
I don't know of any of the people directly involved (have never even met them, in fact). Guesses are welcome but I'll probably deny it anyway if you get it right! Actually it might be amusing to hear now common such behaviour is.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it happens all the time but also has experienced the opposite: I've had people tell me I should be on the paper when I thought I shouldn't.

I've also seen people decline to be on papers when they have contributed to the research.

Nosmo

EliRabett said...

My best one is sitting in the office of some guy I had never met discussing our research and discovering that we were doing the same research, followed a couple of minutes later discovering that we were co-authors.

A mutual collaborator had joined our results together and published.

Anonymous said...

that doesn't seem that big of a deal, a co-author reminds another author to put his name on the paper? I've heard of reviewers writing authors to tell them that they (the reviewer) should be on the paper!

James Annan said...

Um. I did wonder if it was sufficiently clear in the bit of email I quoted.

The "co-author" had played no part in this work, and knew nothing about it at all until he was sent a copy of the finished manuscript. The "exactly one email" is quite literally his entire interaction with the first author. Without giving too many details away, it is closely analogous to whoever is in charge of the NCEP re-analysis insisting that their name appears on every paper that uses this product.

At least a reviewer generally contributes to the paper via their comments, which may be a useful addition to the paper!

Admittedly there are also supervisors and bosses who expect to be on papers that they have not contributed to scientifically or even read. But there is no supervisory or managerial relationship here.

Anonymous said...

well on the positive side, it makes all the Wegman/McIntyre/"ClimateAuditor" dopes and their "nepotist networks of climate scientist" accusations look even weaker! :-)

James Annan said...

Anon,

I'm just showing the tea-leaves, you can interpret them as you will...

EliRabett said...

You are surprised?:) Disgusted I can understand.

James Annan said...

Eli,

Just think of it as part of life's rich tapestry. I agree it is less than ideal, but if I got disgusted at things like that, I'd have to go postal most days :-)

Thomas Palm said...

"One of my co-authors on the paper.."

Does that mean the guy managed to get on the author list with that email? If the tactics work I may have missed getting a lot of papers on my publication list.