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Do you list a publication (in a REU application) if ?

  1. Jan 4, 2009 #1
    Should I list a publication if the paper has my name in there but I didn't actually write anything in the paper? (except producing some plots and results). Particularly when the professor just put my name there as a sort of "courtesy"?

    If so, how do I specify that I am not the primary author or do I just leave it as it is. What about in curriculum vitae?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2009 #2


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    You should mention your specific contributions in your statement of purpose that you send to the REU.
  4. Jan 4, 2009 #3


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    If the paper has your name on it, then you should list it. Now, whether you have a significant contribution to it is a different matter. You should, at the very least, be able to defend the portion that you are responsible for. Your professor is correct in including your name in the paper even if all you did was to produce some work that gave him the result.

    For most subject areas, the "primary author" is usually the first author of the paper, or the first two authors of the paper. Some journals even allow for the designation of more than one authors who share equal primary contribution. So in such cases, who is the primary author is well-known. But in other areas, such as when there's a huge list of collaborators, such as an experimental high energy physics paper, the authors are listed alphabetically. Here, I don't think you need to worry about people confusing you for a primary author, mainly because the people in the field will only focus on the "brand-name" principle investigators out of the large group of people. There may even be a designated spoke person for that group.

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