Using Forum for Research Help

  • #1
Hi there,

I'm a first year PhD student and was going to ask the forum for some advice on some maths (specifically Fourier) that will be used in my work. However, I wanted to know what the forum/general policy is on what happens should this work ever be published. Would a forum contributor be credited on the paper or only if the contribution is novel (ie. more than help limited to applying century old maths)?

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
boneh3ad
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Fourier analysis would fall under general knowledge anyway so of you are using it, you don't need to cite it in a paper. The exception would be if it is some odd or unusual or new application of Fourier analysis. Besides, if you try to cite a message board in a paper it will get laughed right out of the editor's office.
 
  • #3
That's what I was assuming. I was just asking in case the help goes further than that of just helping with the maths, as I'm not sure how simple what I'm working on is at the moment.

It's not that the message itself would be cited, it's whether the author would be named on the publication.
 
  • #4
boneh3ad
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If all said individual did was help you understand Fourier transforms more, then they certainly wouldn't warrant authorship of any sort. If they helped collect the data in some way and were fundamental in analyzing the data and made contributions to the actual paper, then perhaps you may need to consider something like that. Of course if that is the case, you may want to get to know them more than just by a forum handle, as the AIP probably doesn't want authors listed by Physics Forum name. :wink:
 
  • #5
Choppy
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Check out the submission guidelines for the major journals in your field. Most of them will likely contain a statement with respect to the expected contributions of authors. Generally speaking, all authors should have major involvement in the study's design, it's execution, data collection and interpretation, and manuscruipt preparation.

Assisting with a single component of this process is not generally accepted to warrant authorship. Thus, as a general rule, things like casual discussions, help debugging code, help in solving specifc math problems, minor editing etc. do not warrant co-authorship.

If you find someone is participating at a much greater level than expected (I wouldn't really anticipate for forum posts, but it's not unlikely that a colleague might get deeply involved in a project, or that you might make some kind of connection that carries over off-line), then you need to have a discussion about authorship. Sooner is better.

And when in doubt, ask your supervisor.
 

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