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I am an undergraduate student starting my second year. Last semester, I took part in a research project and earned co-authorship of their paper, which got recently published.

However, when adding names from our anonymous submission to the camera-ready version, the primary author misspelled my first name(Garret instead of Garrett). Because this was a fairly minor edit, I didn't notice it until a few weeks after it had been fully published.

I've already asked the advising professor about it and he said that it wasn't anything to worry about, and that I should create an account on Google scholar and manually add the paper to my account. I've done this, but is there anything else I should do? How bad is this, or is it actually fairly minor?

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Related question academia.stackexchange.com/q/18827/546 –  scaaahu May 12 at 4:17

3 Answers 3

I guess you can contact the journal publication and ask them change your name in the online version. Printed book is probably already published. But the online is very easy to change. I never tried this, but I guess this would not be a problem. Just give it a try.

I see one problem here. In case you want to use that publication in future, lets say in your thesis, your misspelled name may induce some problems, because you present the verified list of articles you published.

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I don't quite understand your last paragraph. Are you suggesting that somebody may not believe that the paper is actually his? That seems very unlikely to me. –  Nate Eldredge May 12 at 19:47
There might be, who knows. You submit an official document, with official list of publications and there is a guy with a slightly different name in the list. Reviewer may request clarification for that. It is better to change the name now to get rid of all future misunderstanding. Everything depends on the country and beaurocratic stuff. –  artalexan May 12 at 20:12

This is probably not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. The journal can fix your name on the "linking page" for the article—which is the one most search engines will point to.

Secondly, in terms of the search engines themselves, the misspelling is not as catastrophic as if it were the last name that were affected. This is because most search engines only use initials for first and middle names, instead of the complete name. For instance, "John Q. Public" would be searched for in Web of Science as

Public JQ


"Public, John Q"

which makes finding your papers not so difficult, in spite of the spelling error. (Of course, if there's a problem with the citation databases, you can alert them to the error.)

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It's pretty hard to change a name after publication. Many journals with print editions treat that as a permanent record of sorts. I'm not sure if that information can be changed in the DOI record though. It would be best to do as was suggested, and link that pub to your name in citation managers.

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