In my field (economics), there are many co-authored papers. People are even writing some chapters of their PhD thesis with other colleagues.

I know that single-authored papers are more appreciated when you are a Ph.D. student and when you are in the job market.

Until now, I always prefered writing my papers alone. This is not because I did not want to interact with people but I did not really want to be dependant on other people during my Ph.D. (I know that some projects take so much time to be accomplished since everybody has its own research agenda.)

I wonder if writing papers (or chapters of a Ph.D. thesis) always alone is a bad sign on a CV? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

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    I am in engineering, I was told having 1 sole author paper every 1-2 years is a good thing. I see most of my colleagues following this trend too. – The Guy May 21 '18 at 14:54
  • Ideally, I think is better for anyone to publish alone. In practice, this isn't always possible. Biology research usually involved a good amount of testing and thus it needs to be performed by several people. I think is rare to see people who work mostly on their ow except in humanities, and sometimes (but nowadays it is also rare) in mathematics. There is also a permanent need to have more and more published papers. I've had many teachers complaint about this publication frenzy, but it is unavoidable when it has so much influence in getting a research position. – M.S May 21 '18 at 18:27

The advantage of writing with someone else, someone more experienced in particular, is that you may end up publishing quicker since you're not doing all of the work. It can also allow you to write papers that you may not be able to write on your own assuming the co-author(s) bring(s) something to the table that you can't offer. For graduate students, it is a good idea to write their first paper with someone more seasoned so that they also get advice on the logistics of publishing a paper (how to pick the right venue, how to write the cover letter when you submit, how to respond to reviewers - some of these an advisor can help with regardless of co-authorship, but a co-author will be more invested). In some fields, it may be frowned upon that you have no co-authored papers as it may signal a bad relationship with an advisor or that you are generally hard to work with. This part is completely field-dependent. The downside of having too many co-authored papers is that people may wonder whether you can work independently.

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