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I completed a project while I was an undergraduate student performing an internship at NASA-JPL. I recently graduated and I am editing the paper I wrote to make it conference paper ready, following AIAA guidelines. I also have a new job and master's program lined up at another institution starting in a month.

I don't understand what to use as my Affiliation for this paper. I did the work as an undergraduate student and was in the internship program of NASA-JPL.

Should I list my undergraduate institution as my affiliation and my current address/contact information at my new institution? Or is my affiliation NASA-JPL for the time of work? The work I did has nothing to do with anything at my undergraduate institution. My co-author is my JPL mentor.

Thank you!

  • Are you asking about how to list affiliation in the paper itself or for some form at the conference submission site? – Buffy Jul 17 '18 at 22:11
  • On the paper itself. Sorry for the lack of clarity. – dingdong Jul 17 '18 at 22:23
  • Is your job in any way connected (either informally - same field, or formally - e.g. you used your job resources/facilities/etc.) list it as the current affiliation. However, I guess your paper will go through peer review for long enough for you to start the master's, so that will be your affiliation. And, at least in my field, it's common to write e.g. an acknowledgment like "the research performed for this work was conducted during a 20xx internship at NASA-JPL, whose hospitality the author wishes to thank for" or something. – user68958 Jul 17 '18 at 22:36
  • I used the facility resources at JPL while I was an intern (software, data, advising with personnel) but it will not have any direct connection to my work at new institution. What seems better? JPL Intern affiliation with footnote about new institution or new institution affiliation/footnote with acknowledgment about JPL/internship? – dingdong Jul 17 '18 at 22:53
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A very similar question has a great answer to this.

TL;DR It is a fuzzy area without set rules, meaning you can decide your affiliation without some kind of penalty from the journal or your field.

If you are still editing the paper once you enter the new institution it probably makes sense to use the current location. However if the paper was 90%+ completed at your former institution, whether the school or NASA-JPL, it's OK to use that as your affiliation.

I published a paper in 2014 that was 90% researched, analyzed, and written at one institution between 2010-2012, then underwent a journal review process for two years. I chose to use my current 2014 institution as my affiliation for the publication, but it would have still been acceptable to use the former one where most of the work had been completed.

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In the paper itself, you should just be clear about things even if it takes more than a few words. It sounds like JPL is correct, but you weren't really an employee, but an intern, so "Intern at ...JPL" would be accurate. If the work contributed or is contributing to a degree from University X, then something like "Intern at ..JPL while a student at UX". If the university arranged the internship that might be appropriate also. If you did it on your own, it is less important to list the university - possibly even misleading.

You could make it longer still, adding "currently at UY or CorpZ."

The main thing is that it needs to be accurate. If you try to make it too short, people will infer things that aren't true.

However, if you do your best and get complaints from an editor follow his/her advice. You will probably be asked to revise in any case so you aren't really risking anything by being verbose but accurate for submission.

Sometimes the affiliation is used just for identification. Sometimes it is used to help people find you later. Keep that in mind.

  • Thank you for helpful response, Buffy. For now, I'll list my intern status, JPL affiliation, and a note about my current institution. Unless listing my new affiliation + putting JPL/Intern in the acknowledgments seems suitable. – dingdong Jul 17 '18 at 22:51

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