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We are currently hosting in our labs an international postgraduate student on a 12-month exchange visit. We have had students from the same university before without any issues.

We have completed all the modelling, analysis, results etc for an article and we are in the last round of reviews before submission with an agreed author order for the five contributors in the article. However, the exchange administrator from the overseas university has requested that their local supervisor be listed as a second author as well as a corresponding author to the submission otherwise the publication will not be counted towards the student work from the university (and will affect scholarship rankings etc). Oddly enough, the supervisor has agreed to the original author order but the admin person has not budged so far.

Given that in the foreign country where the student is from, first and second authorships are considered important, what would be the best way to convince the administrator about the current author order? Or should we avoid conflicts that might affect the student's scholarship applications and chances and accept the change?

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    1. Why is "international" and "foreign" in quotes? Is it international or not? 2. What field? – Azor Ahai Jun 21 '18 at 17:25
  • No reason for the quotes @AzorAhai - Field is Engineering. – o4tlulz Jun 22 '18 at 3:06
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    It does not seem to me that this is any of the exchange program coordinator's business. They simply have no legitimate reason to even be part of this discussion. – Buzz Jun 22 '18 at 4:12
  • @Buzz, Completely agree with you, but when they effectively tell the student, your supervisor second or the paper will not count in your final report / evaluation, it puts us in a difficult position that we have to navigate (hence the post!) – o4tlulz Jun 22 '18 at 7:14
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    It sounds very much like you are being blackmailed, with the institution and its officials holding the student and his/her career hostage to their corrupt demands. I don’t see how you can reasonably agree to this, but you have some leverage, since the university apparently sends a lot of exchange students to your school. Get your administration involved and have them explain to the officials in question that this is unacceptable, and that they should back off if they want to keep sending students to benefit from your school’s educational environment. At least, that is what I hope might happen. – Dan Romik Jun 22 '18 at 7:38

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