Mandatory co-author?

Posted
by Jules A Jules A, MSN Member Expert Nurse

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

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elkpark

14,633 Posts

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

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

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

sasera

Has <1 years experience. 38 Posts

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

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. 8,863 Posts

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

elkpark

14,633 Posts

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

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

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.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery. 17 Articles; 5,259 Posts

At my school/for my project, we were not required to list them as co-authors of the actual project manuscript write-up/dissertation/whatever your school calls it. That was ours and ours alone, although to be fair our (or at least my) project chairs were hands-off about actual editing parts; my chair reviewed my work periodically to make sure it was going in a good direction, and made helpful suggestions here and there, but we were not required to list them as co-authors of the dissertation (DNP degree here).

However, had we submitted the project to a peer-reviewed journal, they did require that we list our chair as a co-author. So, TL/DR - yes.

algae1492

algae1492

84 Posts

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?

My mind is now blown! I was star struck viewing such CV's.