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Strange request from research advisor

  1. May 6, 2013 #1

    Physics_UG

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    So I was 3rd author of a paper published by our group. I then applied for a fellowship which requested me to describe my research activities. I cited the paper I had my name on. My advisor reviewed the application and told me to put my name first on the fellowship application. She even wrote on the draft in red ink to put my name as first author. Stupidly, I complied with this request thinking it might help me get awarded the fellowship. To this day I feel guilty for doing that (this was 2 years ago). Was I being set up by my advisor? This was a more junior advisor. My main advisor also looked at the draft with the citation. Was the junior advisor trying to get me in trouble?
     
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  3. May 6, 2013 #2

    Choppy

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    Hmm that *is* odd.

    Usually when given the choice between malicious intent and ignorance, in most cases I find it's best to assume ignorance. People don't usually get into the position of academic advisor by trying to get those they are advising into trouble. I suspect she was honestly trying to help. And from what I understand, there are fields where author order is not all that important.

    At this point, it's probably not worth worrying too much about as it's water under the bridge. You were given some poor advice, by someone who should know about such things, and you followed it. Further, you learned from it.
     
  4. May 6, 2013 #3

    Physics_UG

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    I think my field is one which author order matters since the list of authors is usually under 5 people.

    Anyways, this was a long time ago and I never got in trouble for it. I agree she was probably not trying to get me in trouble. However, it seemed that her opinion of me seemed to fluctuate. like one day she'd tell me I am doing a good job and progressing fast and the next day she will say to someone within ear shot of me that they thought I was going to be good because of my research background in undergrad but I turned out to be a bad student.
     
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