(Still editing...)

Just give me a minute to think of something witty to immortalize.

Graduate Student Authorship

I am very grateful for he opportunities I have at VT in terms of writing articles and getting authorship credit. Although nothing has actually been published (yet), I have worked on a couple of papers that were ultimately withdrawn from the conferences that they were accepted to do to limited time for rewrites. And that’s ok; it’s my first year and I’m still working out the kinks in my mental system and the publishing calendars for various organizations.

The IMPORTANT thing about this is that: 1) I now have the experience writing papers and 2) I have experience in sitting down with co-authors to decide who gets listed as an author and in what order. Having this discussion early on while just starting a collaboration seems to be a good way to go about having this discussion at all – I’ve been able to ask about what my responsibilities are concerning writing, analyzing data, organizing/editing, submitting. Every little detail gets outlined at the very beginning so that all the authors know who is doing what, preventing bruised egos and missed deadlines at the end of a project.

It originally seemed like an intimidating process, asking to have my role as well as everyone else’s outlined. However, this seemed to help everyone get on board and take responsibility for their part of the work, creating a better collaborative effort. It takes some guts, but it pays off. I can almost guarantee that your advisor and other collaborators won’t mind having this discussion, especially if you offer to take notes and send everyone a document outlining the discussed division of labor and rewards (i.e., the list of authors and in what order) – you are probably just reminding them of a step that they would unintentionally gloss over because they have just as much on their plate as you do.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.