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Mandatory co-author?

Posted

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Have you heard of schools who require the DNP capstone faculty mentor to be listed as co-author on the final product when it is submitted for publication? What is your take on this practice?

Yes. In my master's NP program, when we submitted our final manuscript for publication we were required to not only list our faculty mentor, but the program director as well.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Yes. In my master's NP program, when we submitted our final manuscript for publication we were required to not only list our faculty mentor, but the program director as well.

As an author or honorable mention? What did you think about that?

It's common in academic circles for additional people to be listed as authors as a "courtesy" (a mandatory "courtesy"); e.g., the big-name director of a research lab automatically gets listed as author, often as first author, of any publications arising from research done by the team in the lab, even if that individual had no direct role or participation in that particular research study, because it was done by "her/his" team in her/his lab. There's a lot of academic etiquette and tradition involved in who gets listed as authors, and in what order, on academic publications. In this case, the capstone mentor played a significant role in the development and outcome of the capstone project; in academia, people routinely get listed as co-authors for a lot less. :)

As an author or honorable mention? What did you think about that?

Both were listed as authors. As the program director was very involved in reviewing and revising my manuscript, I had no problem listing her as an author, and would not have submitted without her listed.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

I don't think of it as "just a courtesy." I think of it as totally appropriate. Presumably, your main adviser gave you advice on the project. In essence, your project "came out of his/her lab." The time and attention she gave you was time and attention that was made unavailable for her own research. Publications are the currency of academia. Advising students is a form of academic work. Giving your adviser the proper credit for the work they helped you to produce is appropriate. That is why it is a common rule in many, many programs.

Funny how outside of academia this is called simply "editing" and you dont get co-author credit for helping an author edit their work. You get a thank you in the acknowledgements.

But when in Rome....

Funny how outside of academia this is called simply "editing" and you dont get co-author credit for helping an author edit their work. You get a thank you in the acknowledgements.

But when in Rome....

Thesis, capstone, and dissertation readers do a lot more than just "edit" the final document. They are directly involved in every aspect of the project from its inception, and guide and teach the student through the entire process.

Thesis, capstone, and dissertation readers do a lot more than just "edit" the final document. They are directly involved in every aspect of the project from its inception, and guide and teach the student through the entire process.

Thank you, that makes more sense. What was stated previously just sounded like editing work.

Although why the head of a lab should get author credit simply for running a school's lab, if they aren't providing real substantive input, still makes no sense.

Thank you, that makes more sense. What was stated previously just sounded like editing work.

Although why the head of a lab should get author credit simply for running a school's lab, if they aren't providing real substantive input, still makes no sense.

We're not talking about people who are "simply ... running a school's lab," we're talking about senior researchers, academics who are well-known in their fields and have significant bodies of research, who are heads of major research programs. They have other professionals and students working under them in their primary research program. They mentor and lead those other researchers and research assistants, and they bring in the research funding that makes the program possible. It's common for the "underling" researchers to do smaller, individual research projects "on the side," often with data collected as part of the primary research project, and write up and publish those smaller projects. When that occurs, the primary researcher typically gets listed as a co-author, because s/he a) provided the funding that paid for the research being published, b) is doing the primary, "big," research the smaller project was "spun off" of, c) provided the researchers with the opportunity to be doing the research in the first place, and d) mentors and guides the researchers publishing the smaller project day in and day out over time. Do you have any experience with research universities? All of this is common.

Do you have any experience with research universities? All of this is common.

Nope. Personally I blame you. ;-) If you had simply posted all this helpful information in the first place I wouldn't have asked all these stupid questions and looked like an idiot.

Its all your fault.

LOL :D

But seriously thanks for taking the time to explain it.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

We're not talking about people who are "simply ... running a school's lab," we're talking about senior researchers, academics who are well-known in their fields and have significant bodies of research, who are heads of major research programs. They have other professionals and students working under them in their primary research program. They mentor and lead those other researchers and research assistants, and they bring in the research funding that makes the program possible. It's common for the "underling" researchers to do smaller, individual research projects "on the side," often with data collected as part of the primary research project, and write up and publish those smaller projects. When that occurs, the primary researcher typically gets listed as a co-author, because s/he a) provided the funding that paid for the research being published, b) is doing the primary, "big," research the smaller project was "spun off" of, c) provided the researchers with the opportunity to be doing the research in the first place, and d) mentors and guides the researchers publishing the smaller project day in and day out over time. Do you have any experience with research universities? All of this is common.

I must not be well versed in the etiquette either? To be clear I'm referring to the instructor, not some hibrow researcher or well known expert, who has been assigned and is paid by the university to be an advisor for the NP student's capstone.

I must not be well versed in the etiquette either? To be clear I'm referring to the instructor, not some hibrow researcher or well known expert, who has been assigned and is paid by the university to be an advisor for the NP student's capstone.

I realize you're talking about your faculty mentor, and that that's a different situation. I mentioned primary researchers as another example of the multiple situations in which people in academic settings get listed as co-authors, and was responding to broughden's comment about someone "simply" running a lab. Sorry -- didn't mean to highjack the thread.

Short answer is still yes, it's a common practice to list your thesis/capstone reader as co-author if you publish.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

I must not be well versed in the etiquette either? To be clear I'm referring to the instructor, not some hibrow researcher or well known expert, who has been assigned and is paid by the university to be an advisor for the NP student's capstone.

If they "advised," they probably read rough drafts and commented on them ... guided you about what to include/emphasize/etc. and taught you a few things along the way that helped you to do a better job on that project. In other words, the adviser contributes to the work -- and therefore deserves credit.

sasera

Has <1 years experience.

I published during undergrad in a pretty prestigious physics journal. My advisor was listed as co-author, as was an international colleague of his who had peripherally given him the idea. I did the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of calculations, ran the simulations, did the bulk of the work, etc. But he gave me advice, and his colleague gave us both the idea. While what we did was perhaps not equal in work (I put in far, far more hours than either of them), it was equal in the eyes of academia. If your advisor is doing his/her job and actually advising you, I don't see why s/he shouldn't be listed as co-author.

(And I know the term "co-author" implies that they wrote something, when this is often not the case. It just is what it is: tradition and respect.)

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Thanks for the replies. It sounds like SOP. And thanks sasera for the clarification on the term "co-author". From what I have heard some are doing little more than grading a paper which they are getting paid by their employer to do. I would be interested to learn what more students think about this practice. This changes my perceived value of the heavy CVs of faculty.

Edited to add: as with CCNE thread about quality of our education many views over 500 but few replies. No interest or hesitant to comment?

Edited by Jules A

Thanks for the replies. It sounds like SOP. And thanks sasera for the clarification on the term "co-author". From what I have heard some are doing little more than grading a paper which they are getting paid by their employer to do. I would be interested to learn what more students think about this practice. This changes my perceived value of the heavy CVs of faculty.

Edited to add: as with CCNE thread about quality of our education many views over 500 but few replies. No interest or hesitant to comment?

I'm sure that involvement varies from school to school. When I was doing my master's thesis many years ago, my first reader was directly involved throughout the entire second year of my program; she met with me weekly (lengthy meetings), advised and directed me about the entire project, and spent countless hours going over my draft thesis line by line, tearing it apart and pointing me in the right direction, in order for me to finally arrive at a final product that didn't just convey the info, but was well written, as well (the school had v. high standards). While it would be silly to say she put in as much time and effort (not to mention sweat, blood and tears) into the project as I did, she did invest large amounts of time and shared her knowledge, experience, and academic acumen with me freely throughout the process (which was, of course, about so much more than simply ending up with the written document). And, while it's true that all the readers were full-time (paid) faculty at the school, serving as first and second readers for student theses didn't get them any slack from their regular, full-time teaching/faculty responsibilities; this was something they could choose to do (or not) in addition to their full-time jobs. I didn't publish (which I have since regretted; everyone at school encouraged me to, but, by the time I finished, I was so sick of the thing that I couldn't imagine immediately turning around and working on editing it into an article), but, if I had, I would have considered it entirely appropriate to list her as a co-author.

And the "co-author" thing goes both ways -- it's also common for researchers to list as co-authors people with only minor, peripheral involvement in the study, like students who did nothing more on a project than basic "scut work" like entering the raw data into computer programs. It's about collegiality.

ETA: Forgot to mention that my first reader also went to a lot of personal time and trouble to bail me out of a sticky wicket with the school's IRB that I was in because of bad advice I received from another professional who was supervising me clinically on the clinical intervention on which my thesis was based. I would have been sunk without her "knowhow" and personal connections!

Edited by elkpark

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

And the "co-author" thing goes both ways -- it's also common for researchers to list as co-authors people with only minor, peripheral involvement in the study, like students who did nothing more on a project than basic "scut work" like entering the raw data into computer programs. It's about collegiality.

Good point. It's about the whole team sharing the credit -- the person at the bottom of the hierarchy who did the lower-level tasks, the statistician who ran the numbers and who advised on the design, the researcher who did all the IRB paperwork and who takes ultimate legal responsibility -- and who probably obtained the grant money to pay for the project, the person who had the idea in the first place, etc.

Also, some people may not realize that the order in which the authors are listed important. It varies a bit from discipline to discipline, but there are conventions about that. Different positions in the order of listing signify different different roles on the team.