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Publishing my research paper- Safe methods?

  1. Oct 10, 2007 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am an undergraduate student. I am doing some research on my own, and almost two thirds through it. I was planning to contact a Professor for some advise, and some feedback ..etc

    Couple of days ago, a friend of mine, a PhD student in Nuclear Engineering, was shocked that his Professor requested his name to be on his research paper, as if he have done the research too. My friend was working on that research on his own, but he needs to graduate, so he could not have said 'no' and there is no written request or anything.

    I trust in our educational institutions, but I would love to know if there is a 'back-up' of 'reasearch credits' in a case a research is shared with a Professor , or is it just a plain issue of ethics code.

    By the way, the good thing is I dont need my research to get my degree. All I want is to register it with my name.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2007 #2
    Well, sometimes it is good if you have famous person's name on your paper since more people will likely read your paper. On the other hand people might think that all the job was done by the famous person, not you.
     
  4. Oct 10, 2007 #3

    J77

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    I'm afraid it's out of your hands if you're working under someone's supervision. In the past, I've heard it to be commonplace for some heads of groups to have their name first on everything. However, have not seen this much recently.

    On the other hand, your friend may be misjudging the amount of input his professor had on your friend's paper; that is, sometimes it's hard for students to see the slight nudges of encouragment which lead to the final result.

    Anyway, science should be about collaboration -- I like to get projects going from all over the sphere. Not only does it show your ability to work with others, but it also makes useful contacts.
     
  5. Oct 10, 2007 #4
    in our here,it seems quite common that sign mentor's name behind the truely worker.on the other hand,the important is the first writer.everyone can understand it now.
     
  6. Oct 10, 2007 #5

    f95toli

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    There is no real drawback to having many names on a paper. The person who has done most of the work should of course be the first author (everything else is simply unethical). In most cases the most cases the professor (or whoever is the head of the group) will have his/hers name last.
    Note that many senior researchers rarely do any actual "research" as such. They spend much of their times writing grant applications, going to conferences, teaching and -more importantly- supervising the work of students. Hence, they are in effect making it possible for the work to be done. Also, they are of course still involved in discussions, analyzing data etc.
    If you look at a paper with e.g. 4 names, it is very likely that the names of the first and second author are the names of PhD students (or postdocs) , the third name if the name of their supervisor and the last name is the name the head of the group.
    There are of course exceptions but I think this is a good rule of thumb.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2007 #6
    Thanks Timur and J77. I agree that a Professor's name on paper is good for connections and publicity of the research. And yep, my friend may be misjudging and its hard for me to tell since I dont know exactly what was going on during the meetings. I'm trying my best to include all the help that I recieved during the research, and I hope I will more on the grateful side than the belittling

    I thought about alternatives as sending the research to a specialized magazine or a chronicle, but is it not advisable without a professional University back-up?

    I was thinking to publish the paper online with proper rights and such on a website or so. Any feedback or opinions?

    I am approaching a problem from a diffirent way that has been approached before. The diffirence is significant to the fundamental levels of the approach. There may be a little small discovery, or there may be not. As of now the results are making a really good sense.
     
  8. Oct 10, 2007 #7
    Thanks enricfemi and f95toli. I may ask; Since I have reached some results, can I just share the basic thesis with the Professor, then 'register' as the main researcher, and to continue the research to complete all the results needed afterwards?
     
  9. Oct 10, 2007 #8

    f95toli

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    If you want your paper to be noticed you MUST send it to a peer-reviewed journal. Papers published somewhere else simply don't count and no one will notice it.
    If you want to publish quickly you can always upload a preprint to the arXiv; most journals will publish papers even if it appeared on the arXiv before it was submitted although I prefer to first submit and then upload.
     
  10. Oct 10, 2007 #9

    f95toli

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    Basically you have to trust your Professor. I am not sure what you are worried about. Science should, as J77 has already pointed out, be about collaboration and if you are doing most of the work you will be the first author which means that it is "your" paper.
    Secrecy is rarely a good idea in science; you need to be able to collaborate and build networks and discussing your work with others is a vital part of the scientific process.
    The papers I publish have often been read by around 10 people even before they were submitted. We are usually 4-5 authors and we always make sure we show the work to some people NOT directly involved in the work before we submit it; often they can give helpfull advice and spot problems (their names are then listed in the "acknowledgments" section of the paper).
     
  11. Oct 13, 2007 #10
    Thanks f95toli. Yes I agree totally with you that I should trust my professor. Actually, after a careful thought, I dont have a reason why I should not. That story I heard about the research papers makes me some-how more self-conscious about the issue of research as a whole.

    I have a couple of friends planning to discuess with them my work step-by-step, and to give me a feedback on. I will try my best to discuess my method with the Professor as well, and his connections can lead to share certain aspects with other Professors who are willing to help and keen on the matter.

    Please excuse me as I am a very beginner on research procedures, and now I have more detailed picture of what is going on. We are born knowing nothing, then we start to gain knowledge. Thanks again for the responses :)
     
  12. Oct 14, 2007 #11
    Thanks for help and the advising.

    Thanks f95toli. Yes I agree totally with you that I should trust my professor. Actually, after a careful thought, I dont have a reason why I should not. That story I heard about the research papers makes me some-how more self-conscious about the issue of research as a whole.

    I have a couple of friends planning to discuess with them my work step-by-step, and to give me a feedback on. I will try my best to discuess my method with the Professor as well, and his connections can lead to share certain aspects with other Professors who are willing to help and keen on the matter.

    Please excuse me as I am a very beginner on research procedures, and now I have more detailed picture of what is going on. We are born knowing nothing, then we start to gain knowledge. Thanks again for the responses :)
     
  13. Oct 14, 2007 #12
    I'm sorry. The post have been copied many times, as every time I send it it was not appearing on my screen, until I saw all of them at once tonight.

    Please forgive me.

    Peace,
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
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