Sunday, 3 August 2008


There are quite a number of papers with a set of authors instead of one. It can be caused by very different reasons. The most common (75%) – different parts of articles are written by different authors or an article is completed by one people basing on ideas of others with an active input from those “others”. The second case – it is a possibility to publish an article together, i.e. administrative co-authoring. In that case the second author either finances the publication (using grants he has) or is a people who will be travelling and presenting the work. Consider for example a fact that some professors publish 50 and more articles. Clearly they cannot present all those papers by themselves as they have a lot of other duties. The third case will be a mix of previous cases. For example a supervisor permanently advices what should be changed in the paper so is a co-author and also finance the publishing and participation at the conference.

Finally I would like to mention some cases of fictional co-authoring.
  • A famous person is added to co-authors list to either increase the acceptance probability or to get attention after the paper is published in order to spread the paper ideas in the science community. I would like to explain about acceptance as you know that papers should be accepted during a blind-review – after the review is done there are always some articles that got similar marks (weak acceptance) and not all of them can be fitted into the conference schedule. So conference organisers will have to select some papers rejecting others and they are likely to select professors’ papers etc probably increasing the quality of the conference and the proceeding.

  • Purely administrative reasons – the most faculty people have articles the better they work, i.e. faculty does. Therefore sometimes authors are just added into the end of the list without any good content reason. Mostly universities have a publication minimum that should be completed by each member of a faculty and obviously different groups do compete for fundings.

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