Wedding Woes

If order matters, name people in order of the size of contribution?

Dear Prudence,

I’m writing to you about a friend, “Sissy,” I’ve been close with for 10 years now, ever since college. We ended up moving to the same city and attend grad school together. I’m finally going to hand in my dissertation later this year, but Sissy has been derailed by severe depression and a borderline personality disorder, which has left her unable to work for 1½ years now. I love her dearly and have tried my very best to help her—accompanying her to appointments at the doctor’s and the unemployment agency, lending her small amounts of money when necessary—with moderate success. This is fine, if emotionally draining at times.

But something else is bothering me: About six months before her illness we started a publication project together with another colleague. Sissy has just about managed the first of many hurdles, leaving me and the other woman with hundreds of hours of work. Since we thought that Sissy would bounce back soon, we never considered taking her off the project, but now that it is completed with only little input on her part, I feel resentful about giving her credit as editor. We promised we would at the beginning. I feel I should at least list her as (third) editor because that way she will have something to show for herself when she applies for a job, rather than the gaping hole her illness is creating in her CV right now. On the other hand, I put in most of the work despite suffering through massive health problems last year, and I feel that being first editor (out of two) will give me an advantage in our competitive field. I feel both options are equally valid—if I help her, I might end up resenting her and maybe my alternative career. If I don’t, I will resent myself for being egocentric. Is there a way out?

—Publish or Perish

Re: If order matters, name people in order of the size of contribution?

  • What does the other author say? 

    I'd list you and the co-author as first & second, with Sissy as third provided she did contribute to the paper. If she didn't you do need to talk with her now that the paper is being sent out. Don't take her name off without a conversation! 

    Co-authored projects evolve in many ways, but submission is just the first step; will she be contributor if it's R&R'd, and what about during the editing process? If she's getting back to things and will be a contributing part of the team during that process to, you do need to keep her on the paper, but certainly not as a first author. 
    short+sassyOliveOilsMomVarunaTT
  • This reminds me of a part from the movie Julie & Julia where Julia Child and her one co-author were pissed at the other co-author who hardly contributed to the cookbook and always had appointments or headaches and couldn't work on things.  It was suggested that the one person be listed like ShesSoCold noted.
    STARMOON44
  • I don't know exactly how this shit works but could LW word it something like, "LW & OC, with contributions by Sissy"?
    I think this depends on the field; we never list authors like this. It's either a list in order of contributions, or alphabetical (and noted as such), and then thanking people (like grad students who did coding as part of their GA position, people who read/commented on drafts) in the acknowledgments. 
    short+sassyPrettyGirlLost
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I don't know exactly how this shit works but could LW word it something like, "LW & OC, with contributions by Sissy"?
    I think this depends on the field; we never list authors like this. It's either a list in order of contributions, or alphabetical (and noted as such), and then thanking people (like grad students who did coding as part of their GA position, people who read/commented on drafts) in the acknowledgments. 
    Isn't that nice!  I never get an acknowledgement for any of the work I do in the lab. . . which is to generate all the fucking data for everyone ><   I should be listed as an author.  My boss is usually listed as one of the last authors, though.

    Just another reason why I hate Academia, lol!  Thank God for the awesome retirement matching and all the vacation days/holidays!

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • I appreciate @charlotte989875's posts, because I assume many of us have no idea how credit is typically done for these types of papers/projects.  At least I know I don't!

    There definitely needs to be a conversation with all 3 parties.  Or at least a conversation with herself and the other main author, who can then be a team to discuss with Sissy.

    The LW does say that Sissy did contribute, albeit limited input.  There should definitely be some credit for that.  Especially considering that the LW and Sissy are friends and she knows how crucial that can be as Sissy tries to get back into the work force.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMomeileenrob
  • I don't know exactly how this shit works but could LW word it something like, "LW & OC, with contributions by Sissy"?
    I think this depends on the field; we never list authors like this. It's either a list in order of contributions, or alphabetical (and noted as such), and then thanking people (like grad students who did coding as part of their GA position, people who read/commented on drafts) in the acknowledgments. 
    Isn't that nice!  I never get an acknowledgement for any of the work I do in the lab. . . which is to generate all the fucking data for everyone ><   I should be listed as an author.  My boss is usually listed as one of the last authors, though.

    Just another reason why I hate Academia, lol!  Thank God for the awesome retirement matching and all the vacation days/holidays!
    I think it gets tricky (and I assume a lab is a totally different scenario than I work in), because grad students get assigned to faculty members on a semester/yearly basis; so any data collection/coding/research that is done as a part of that assignment isn't necessarily a co-author situation. But, for example, I worked with a faculty member in grad school and we worked on a project where I did data coding, but also writing & research; the paper eventually got published and I was the second author. It was definitely a collaborative situation that lasted longer than my GA assignment, but that's where it started. But I've also had the situation where I did data coding and the only acknowledgment was part of a general "thanks to GA/TAs for coding". It varies. And it sucks, because coding is a fuckton of work. 
  • I appreciate @charlotte989875's posts, because I assume many of us have no idea how credit is typically done for these types of papers/projects.  At least I know I don't!

    There definitely needs to be a conversation with all 3 parties.  Or at least a conversation with herself and the other main author, who can then be a team to discuss with Sissy.

    The LW does say that Sissy did contribute, albeit limited input.  There should definitely be some credit for that.  Especially considering that the LW and Sissy are friends and she knows how crucial that can be as Sissy tries to get back into the work force.

    Thanks!

    I will say this is harder than it sounds. Yes Sissy is a friend, and it's so so important to publish ("publish or perish" isn't a catchphase of academia for no reason), but you can't assign authorship to someone who doesn't deserve it. Not saying that's necessarily the case here, but if Sissy didn't contribute in a way that warrants being considered an author I don't think she should be credited as one. 

    But yeah, the three of them need to have a very clear discussion about this. If Sissy contributed to the original idea and to making the project happen, she needs to be credited. 
    short+sassy
  • I appreciate @charlotte989875's posts, because I assume many of us have no idea how credit is typically done for these types of papers/projects.  At least I know I don't!

    There definitely needs to be a conversation with all 3 parties.  Or at least a conversation with herself and the other main author, who can then be a team to discuss with Sissy.

    The LW does say that Sissy did contribute, albeit limited input.  There should definitely be some credit for that.  Especially considering that the LW and Sissy are friends and she knows how crucial that can be as Sissy tries to get back into the work force.

    Thanks!

    I will say this is harder than it sounds. Yes Sissy is a friend, and it's so so important to publish ("publish or perish" isn't a catchphase of academia for no reason), but you can't assign authorship to someone who doesn't deserve it. Not saying that's necessarily the case here, but if Sissy didn't contribute in a way that warrants being considered an author I don't think she should be credited as one. 

    But yeah, the three of them need to have a very clear discussion about this. If Sissy contributed to the original idea and to making the project happen, she needs to be credited. 

    Hindsight always being 20/20.  It's too bad these discussions didn't happen BEFORE the two authors did 100s of hours more work than Sissy!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875
  • I appreciate @charlotte989875's posts, because I assume many of us have no idea how credit is typically done for these types of papers/projects.  At least I know I don't!

    There definitely needs to be a conversation with all 3 parties.  Or at least a conversation with herself and the other main author, who can then be a team to discuss with Sissy.

    The LW does say that Sissy did contribute, albeit limited input.  There should definitely be some credit for that.  Especially considering that the LW and Sissy are friends and she knows how crucial that can be as Sissy tries to get back into the work force.

    Thanks!

    I will say this is harder than it sounds. Yes Sissy is a friend, and it's so so important to publish ("publish or perish" isn't a catchphase of academia for no reason), but you can't assign authorship to someone who doesn't deserve it. Not saying that's necessarily the case here, but if Sissy didn't contribute in a way that warrants being considered an author I don't think she should be credited as one. 

    But yeah, the three of them need to have a very clear discussion about this. If Sissy contributed to the original idea and to making the project happen, she needs to be credited. 

    Hindsight always being 20/20.  It's too bad these discussions didn't happen BEFORE the two authors did 100s of hours more work than Sissy!
    Typically, they do. In good co-author partnerships all of this is worked out a head of time. 

    For example, I'm working with a co-author now and the work is split 50-50, and we list alphabetically. Now, if I need substantially more work than he did (I didn't) than we could have had another conversation about it at that time. 
    short+sassyeileenrob
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I don't know exactly how this shit works but could LW word it something like, "LW & OC, with contributions by Sissy"?
    I think this depends on the field; we never list authors like this. It's either a list in order of contributions, or alphabetical (and noted as such), and then thanking people (like grad students who did coding as part of their GA position, people who read/commented on drafts) in the acknowledgments. 
    Isn't that nice!  I never get an acknowledgement for any of the work I do in the lab. . . which is to generate all the fucking data for everyone ><   I should be listed as an author.  My boss is usually listed as one of the last authors, though.

    Just another reason why I hate Academia, lol!  Thank God for the awesome retirement matching and all the vacation days/holidays!
    I think it gets tricky (and I assume a lab is a totally different scenario than I work in), because grad students get assigned to faculty members on a semester/yearly basis; so any data collection/coding/research that is done as a part of that assignment isn't necessarily a co-author situation. But, for example, I worked with a faculty member in grad school and we worked on a project where I did data coding, but also writing & research; the paper eventually got published and I was the second author. It was definitely a collaborative situation that lasted longer than my GA assignment, but that's where it started. But I've also had the situation where I did data coding and the only acknowledgment was part of a general "thanks to GA/TAs for coding". It varies. And it sucks, because coding is a fuckton of work. 
    According to the NIH anyone who has significantly contributed to the study should be a named author on the publication. . . I generate all of the data for these projects- I purify the nucleic acids from their samples, I run the molecular biology assays on their samples (microarrays, next gen sequencing, etc.)

    Without me they'd have no data to publish because they lack the personnel, technical knowledge, and instrumentation to do it on their own, so I consider that a significant contribution, lol.

    But there's a huge level of elitism and snobbery in Academia, and since I'm a molecular biologist in a core lab that is providing these services to them for a fee- cause I need to get paid- and I'm not their grad student providing them free slave labor, they feel they can get away with just listing my boss as a contributing author.  And they are allowed to get away with it because the research community as a whole and Academia as a whole buys into this mentality.

    Also per NIH guidelines, because we are an NIH funded cancer research core, they are always supposed to acknowledge our individual lab and the cancer institute on campus, but most never do that either.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • edited May 17
    I don't know exactly how this shit works but could LW word it something like, "LW & OC, with contributions by Sissy"?
    I think this depends on the field; we never list authors like this. It's either a list in order of contributions, or alphabetical (and noted as such), and then thanking people (like grad students who did coding as part of their GA position, people who read/commented on drafts) in the acknowledgments. 
    Isn't that nice!  I never get an acknowledgement for any of the work I do in the lab. . . which is to generate all the fucking data for everyone ><   I should be listed as an author.  My boss is usually listed as one of the last authors, though.

    Just another reason why I hate Academia, lol!  Thank God for the awesome retirement matching and all the vacation days/holidays!
    I think it gets tricky (and I assume a lab is a totally different scenario than I work in), because grad students get assigned to faculty members on a semester/yearly basis; so any data collection/coding/research that is done as a part of that assignment isn't necessarily a co-author situation. But, for example, I worked with a faculty member in grad school and we worked on a project where I did data coding, but also writing & research; the paper eventually got published and I was the second author. It was definitely a collaborative situation that lasted longer than my GA assignment, but that's where it started. But I've also had the situation where I did data coding and the only acknowledgment was part of a general "thanks to GA/TAs for coding". It varies. And it sucks, because coding is a fuckton of work. 
    According to the NIH anyone who has significantly contributed to the study should be a named author on the publication. . . I generate all of the data for these projects- I purify the nucleic acids from their samples, I run the molecular biology assays on their samples (microarrays, next gen sequencing, etc.)

    Without me they'd have no data to publish because they lack the personnel, technical knowledge, and instrumentation to do it on their own, so I consider that a significant contribution, lol.

    But there's a huge level of elitism and snobbery in Academia, and since I'm a molecular biologist in a core lab that is providing these services to them for a fee- cause I need to get paid- and I'm not their grad student providing them free slave labor, they feel they can get away with just listing my boss as a contributing author.  And they are allowed to get away with it because the research community as a whole and Academia as a whole buys into this mentality.

    Also per NIH guidelines, because we are an NIH funded cancer research core, they are always supposed to acknowledge our individual lab and the cancer institute on campus, but most never do that either.
    That is such bullshit. That's absolutely a significant contribution. 

    But so so true on the snobbery. I hate it. It's (part of) what makes me want to get out permanently. 

    I don't understand how they can get away with the second bolded. I'm assuming because they're paying the lab a fee? That's ridiculous. It doesn't matter if they pay, they still should credit you. 
    levioosaPrettyGirlLost
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I don't know exactly how this shit works but could LW word it something like, "LW & OC, with contributions by Sissy"?
    I think this depends on the field; we never list authors like this. It's either a list in order of contributions, or alphabetical (and noted as such), and then thanking people (like grad students who did coding as part of their GA position, people who read/commented on drafts) in the acknowledgments. 
    Isn't that nice!  I never get an acknowledgement for any of the work I do in the lab. . . which is to generate all the fucking data for everyone ><   I should be listed as an author.  My boss is usually listed as one of the last authors, though.

    Just another reason why I hate Academia, lol!  Thank God for the awesome retirement matching and all the vacation days/holidays!
    I think it gets tricky (and I assume a lab is a totally different scenario than I work in), because grad students get assigned to faculty members on a semester/yearly basis; so any data collection/coding/research that is done as a part of that assignment isn't necessarily a co-author situation. But, for example, I worked with a faculty member in grad school and we worked on a project where I did data coding, but also writing & research; the paper eventually got published and I was the second author. It was definitely a collaborative situation that lasted longer than my GA assignment, but that's where it started. But I've also had the situation where I did data coding and the only acknowledgment was part of a general "thanks to GA/TAs for coding". It varies. And it sucks, because coding is a fuckton of work. 
    According to the NIH anyone who has significantly contributed to the study should be a named author on the publication. . . I generate all of the data for these projects- I purify the nucleic acids from their samples, I run the molecular biology assays on their samples (microarrays, next gen sequencing, etc.)

    Without me they'd have no data to publish because they lack the personnel, technical knowledge, and instrumentation to do it on their own, so I consider that a significant contribution, lol.

    But there's a huge level of elitism and snobbery in Academia, and since I'm a molecular biologist in a core lab that is providing these services to them for a fee- cause I need to get paid- and I'm not their grad student providing them free slave labor, they feel they can get away with just listing my boss as a contributing author.  And they are allowed to get away with it because the research community as a whole and Academia as a whole buys into this mentality.

    Also per NIH guidelines, because we are an NIH funded cancer research core, they are always supposed to acknowledge our individual lab and the cancer institute on campus, but most never do that either.
    That is such bullshit. That's absolutely a significant contribution. 

    But so so true on the snobbery. I hate it. It's (part of) what makes me want to get out permanently. 

    I don't understand how they can get away with the second bolded. I'm assuming because they're paying the lab a fee? That's ridiculous. It doesn't matter if they pay, they still should credit you. 
    Thank you! I feel better to be validated!!

    I dunno how they get away with 2nd bolded either, as it's an explicit requirement of our cancer institute to their own researchers. . .the cancer institute just sucks at enforcement, I guess.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    charlotte989875
  • I don't know exactly how this shit works but could LW word it something like, "LW & OC, with contributions by Sissy"?
    I think this depends on the field; we never list authors like this. It's either a list in order of contributions, or alphabetical (and noted as such), and then thanking people (like grad students who did coding as part of their GA position, people who read/commented on drafts) in the acknowledgments. 
    Isn't that nice!  I never get an acknowledgement for any of the work I do in the lab. . . which is to generate all the fucking data for everyone ><   I should be listed as an author.  My boss is usually listed as one of the last authors, though.

    Just another reason why I hate Academia, lol!  Thank God for the awesome retirement matching and all the vacation days/holidays!
    I think it gets tricky (and I assume a lab is a totally different scenario than I work in), because grad students get assigned to faculty members on a semester/yearly basis; so any data collection/coding/research that is done as a part of that assignment isn't necessarily a co-author situation. But, for example, I worked with a faculty member in grad school and we worked on a project where I did data coding, but also writing & research; the paper eventually got published and I was the second author. It was definitely a collaborative situation that lasted longer than my GA assignment, but that's where it started. But I've also had the situation where I did data coding and the only acknowledgment was part of a general "thanks to GA/TAs for coding". It varies. And it sucks, because coding is a fuckton of work. 
    According to the NIH anyone who has significantly contributed to the study should be a named author on the publication. . . I generate all of the data for these projects- I purify the nucleic acids from their samples, I run the molecular biology assays on their samples (microarrays, next gen sequencing, etc.)

    Without me they'd have no data to publish because they lack the personnel, technical knowledge, and instrumentation to do it on their own, so I consider that a significant contribution, lol.

    But there's a huge level of elitism and snobbery in Academia, and since I'm a molecular biologist in a core lab that is providing these services to them for a fee- cause I need to get paid- and I'm not their grad student providing them free slave labor, they feel they can get away with just listing my boss as a contributing author.  And they are allowed to get away with it because the research community as a whole and Academia as a whole buys into this mentality.

    Also per NIH guidelines, because we are an NIH funded cancer research core, they are always supposed to acknowledge our individual lab and the cancer institute on campus, but most never do that either.
    That is such bullshit. That's absolutely a significant contribution. 

    But so so true on the snobbery. I hate it. It's (part of) what makes me want to get out permanently. 

    I don't understand how they can get away with the second bolded. I'm assuming because they're paying the lab a fee? That's ridiculous. It doesn't matter if they pay, they still should credit you. 
    Thank you! I feel better to be validated!!

    I dunno how they get away with 2nd bolded either, as it's an explicit requirement of our cancer institute to their own researchers. . .the cancer institute just sucks at enforcement, I guess.
    That would be my guess, but it makes no sense. Why wouldn't you want to make sure your institute was credited in published (or presented) work?!.

     And unless journals know about the agreement, they can't police it either. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Back in the day (30+ years ago) when I worked in a research lab, I was credited on papers for doing the technical work (generating data, even down to washing the lab equipment - academia ya know?,summarizing data etc.) and proof reading papers. It probably depends on the senior scientist. Of course, times have changed!
    PrettyGirlLost
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    That is such bullshit. That's absolutely a significant contribution. 

    But so so true on the snobbery. I hate it. It's (part of) what makes me want to get out permanently. 

    I don't understand how they can get away with the second bolded. I'm assuming because they're paying the lab a fee? That's ridiculous. It doesn't matter if they pay, they still should credit you. 
    Thank you! I feel better to be validated!!

    I dunno how they get away with 2nd bolded either, as it's an explicit requirement of our cancer institute to their own researchers. . .the cancer institute just sucks at enforcement, I guess.
    That would be my guess, but it makes no sense. Why wouldn't you want to make sure your institute was credited in published (or presented) work?!.

     And unless journals know about the agreement, they can't police it either. 
    Oh, they credit the cancer center directly when they are required to! 

    They just don't often acknowledge our core lab, which they are also supposed to do whenever they use our services for a study that goes to publication.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


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