This is a borderline IPS question, but I feel the academic aspects will be more relevant.
One year ago I switched supervisor. Went to him with a formulated project (but no concrete results yet) and I am now at a stage where I should discuss authorship, which I haven't done before. This supervisor provided much needed guidance and support in meetings, but I am personally of the opinion that I should be the sole author of the paper, though this is obviously a grey area.
My question is then two-fold:
Does his contribution qualify him objectively (i.e. in most academic situation) as a co author ? I have a hard time telling whether his contribution is enough for him to ask me to include him as a co-author.
On my part I have:
- Formulated the core idea around which the paper revolves
- Found a fitting mathematical formalism
- Run all numerics
- Ideated and wrote all mathematical proofs required
On his part he has:
- Guided me in what could be considered an interesting result in the field (e.g. this would be an interesting statement, can you show that it is true?)
- Guided me in constructing a coherent story around my idea compatible with the field
On the one hand, this paper would have never been born without his guidance. On the other hand I believe is contribution to the content is not big. I would like your thoughts on this, so that I can ponder the various sides of this and be ready if a discussion arises.
How do I discuss this with him? I have a feeling he won't ask me for co-authorship, but I might be wrong and indeed he might expect it as a counterpart to the time he dedicated to me.
I would like to bring up the topic in a way that recognizes the value of his support and express my opinion on authorship without causing conflict (with the person that will in all likelihood write me references for the future)?
One way I thought this could go is to just ask something like: "I will be writing up. Do you think such and such journal would be a good outlet for this work? Do you think we should author this together?"
I believe this sends the message: I am somewhat open/uncertain about co-authorship, what do you think? and leaves the initiative on the topic to him.
Some clarification : sole authorship is considered a good thing in my field, I am at a loss in assessing how much.
Also, I am responsible for my own funding which comes from a scholarship, none of my supervisor had anything to do with it.
Finally, my previous supervisor has explicitly stated he wouldn't require authorship on this (saying he didn't contribute enough).