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Help With Research Paper And Avoid Plagiarism

  1. Jul 14, 2014 #1
    So about a month ago I conducted a short study with 3 peers and presented it in the form of a research poster (and was not peer reviewed). It was conducted at an astronomical observatory and the poster was "published" in their summer proceedings, but no paper was submitted to a journal or anything like that.

    I'm interested in turning this poster into a paper to be submitted. Not word for word, but still using much of the same data, methods, and math, just with a slightly different focus. Basically just refine it.

    Anyways, I contacted the three people who I worked with and asked whether or not they would be interested in helping me refine the original study and write the paper, and only one of the three expressed any interest whatsoever.

    I obviously want to avoid plagiarism, so that's why I came for help. Should I list the other two people as coauthors or just mention them in acknowledgments? Or not mention them at all?

    Forgive me if I am missing something as I have never attempted to publish before. And I hope this is in the right section in the forum. Feel free to move it or whatever complies with forum rules.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2014 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

  4. Jul 14, 2014 #3
    That helps a bit. But a lot of what I have read seems to be very field specific. So I guess I'll explain the situation as best I can. The paper concerns astrophysics, and it was carried out a local observatory, so no school affiliations.

    Person A- Completed most of the math needed and did about half the computations. He will help author the paper.
    Person B- Assisted in data collection and helped to analyze it. Most of his ideas and suggestions relating to the study were unsuccessful and didn't provide much help overall. Will not help author the paper.
    Person C- Took about half the data, and had no successful intellectual contributions whatsoever. Will not help to author the paper.

    Hope someone can provide an answer from this. Thanks.
     
  5. Jul 14, 2014 #4

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    First Person B and C don't fit the author definition in the article so I guess you could have some sort of acknowledgements section where you thank them for the help they provided in the creation of this paper.

    You really need to discuss it with your school or someone at the observatory to get a better answer and avoid any kind of scientific impropriety.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  6. Jul 14, 2014 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    I don't think this can properly be discussed in the abstract - every case is different. I would however, caution you about applying too much weight to the "successful" part of the ideas. Sometimes identifying a blind alley is useful.
     
  7. Jul 14, 2014 #6
    Okay, thanks. I think I will discuss this further with B and C and see if they would agree with being in acknowledgments.
     
  8. Jul 14, 2014 #7
    I definitely agree. But by not successful, I really meant causing friction in the team. But anyways, I digress. I shall see exactly how the others feel and hopefully it will work out well.
     
  9. Jul 14, 2014 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    What does that have to do with authorship?

    Some of my coauthors are total jerks (and would say the same about me). Doesn't mean they didn't contribute.
     
  10. Jul 14, 2014 #9
    The fact that besides helping with manual tasks (data collection), one of the people really did nothing but cause the team setbacks due to stubbornness, rudeness, etc.
     
  11. Jul 15, 2014 #10

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    This is part of maturity here, you need to put that behind you and acknowledge their contribution however small and publish your paper.
     
  12. Jul 15, 2014 #11
    I know. So after we talk again, if they have an issue with anything, they will be listed as co authors. If not, I will more than happily list them in acknowledgments.
     
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