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Writing author notes in REVTeX 4.1 for PRL

  1. Jul 26, 2011 #1

    I am currently writing a paper for submission to the PRL. I wish to put in a note after the names of the first two authors, stating "These authors have contributed equally to this work". I would like to solicit the help of the Physics Forums community in knowing how to do this. In some previous PRL papers I have seen, this is denoted by an asterisk after the authors' names, the explicatory text to which is then placed just before the references (after the horizontal mark denoting the end of the paper). I have been fiddling around with the REVTeX 4.1 template for a while now, but cannot seem to get this note correctly. I would be grateful for any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2011 #2
    The closest that I have got so far is by including the note in the \thanks{} field. The only problem with that is that the asterisk seems to be much smaller than is standard for the particular note.
  4. Jul 26, 2011 #3

    D H

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    Author bylines are supposed to identify the institutions with which the different authors are associated. The APS appears to frown on superfluous things such as titles, which author did most of the work, etc. The editor (if not the reviewers) will strike a byline along the lines of the one you would like to use. You might be able to put the remark in a final acknowledgments paragraph. Then again, maybe not. The remark is a bit non-professional.

    Did all three of you really contribute equally? Be honest. One of you almost certainly contributed more in terms of originality. One of you took the burden of writing the paper. One of you is going to have to take responsibility of shepherding the paper through the review process. If you really can't decide whose name goes first, draw straws and make the person who draws first author work to deserve that honor. There's a whole lot of work left to do on the paper. Presumably the review process hasn't even begun.

    If the three of you are going to collaborate further you can use a round-robin approach regarding first author.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  5. Jul 26, 2011 #4
    Hi D H,

    Thanks for your quick and sound reply.

    Regarding the question of whether some of the authors really contributed equally, it is difficult to say for certain. Different parts of the work were largely the responsibility of different people, and two of them certainly took on the larger shares. According them equal author status keeps things simple and cordial.

    You are right, the remark may well be a bit unprofessional. However, as I mentioned, some PRL papers do contain it, on the basis of which I am reasonably sure that it will pass through the refereeing+editing process unscathed.

    The round-robin approach that you suggest is indeed practical, and we may well follow it when the question of credit allocation is even murkier. However, for this paper, I would prefer to include the remark, if possible, and any help in that regard would be highly appreciated.
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