I did my M.Sc. recently and we have agreed to publish it in a journal with my supervisors. I have got once comments from the first supervisor but it is almost two months I couldn't got the final comments. I have followed up it and the supervisor mentioned he would give comments shortly. I am worry he may want to refuse from contributing, and he couldn't mention it, directly. He may have any convincing reason for him self for refusing from authorship but I am pretty sure the quality is good enough and it can be published in a journal.

How can I politely ask his decision?

Should those papers that are derived from thesis include supervisors name?

  • How can I politely ask his decision? — I suggest "What is your decision?"
    – JeffE
    Aug 20, 2013 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


Authorship: Strictly speaking authorships should be determined by the academic intellectiual contribution. It is rare that a thesis topic is solely invented by a student on their own so it is most likely that an advisor regardless of input during, say, writing stages will be an obvious co-author (if that is how authorships are determined in the specific field). There may of course be more co-authors and the order is not necessarily clear due to differences in traditions and cultures.

Response: Not getting response is unfortunately quite common and very unfortunate. I think you have to keep asking for a response but also add that you are interested in submitting the paper soon. If you are through with your education, you might be moving and it seems reasonable to get a paper in before leaving for other work/equivalent. So the answer is to simply politely ask and maybe massage your advisors ego by saying how much you would appreciate/need his/her comments to complete the joint paper. Just keep your cool and avoid nagging. At some point you will simnply have to provide a firm deadline due to whatever circumstances may exist. If you have some other faculty to whom you can confide then asking for advice may be a good point as well.

  • If I ask someone from other university to give comments I have to add his name in the paper, subsequently. Shall I inform my co-authors before asking comments or help from someone else in my case?
    – Topdombili
    Aug 19, 2013 at 12:44
  • 3
    I don't think you need to add someone as a co-author unless that person's comments significantly added to the content of the paper. For example, if someone simply helped polish the language or provided other editorial feedback, I wouldn't consider that a "significant technical contribution". In such cases it would be enough to mention their contributions in an Acknowledgements section at the end of the paper.
    – debray
    Aug 19, 2013 at 12:54
  • 3
    Providing feedback to a manuscript is not generally enough to warrant co-authorship. The contribution should be more significant and affect the conclusions in such a case. Aug 19, 2013 at 13:05

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