I and two other student, did a course project and it has been accepted for publication in an international conference. I am confused now that whether I should add his name as a co-author or acknowledge him in acknowledgements ? I would like to share that though, the entire implementation and writing the paper was done by us, we were student of his class and the work was produced as a part of course project.

My field is Computer Science.

Edit: As F'x suggests, that I should ask the instructor. What would be an appropriate way to do so given that his name was not added as co-author before acceptance.(We were confident about the work but were not sure about the acceptance. The conference management software was EDAS and it spams email of all co-authors which we wanted to avoid in his case)

  • 2
    Discuss it with your teacher.
    – F'x
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 15:22
  • 8
    The right time to ask this question was before you submitted. But better late than never.
    – JeffE
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 18:28

3 Answers 3


Regarding “given that his name was not added as co-author before acceptance”: ask him ASAP. Be honest, be apologetic, explain clearly the situation and the reasons you did not want to add his name beforehand, but also be very clear that you realize now it was a mistake not to discuss it at the time, and that you made the mistake due to your lack of experience in academic publishing.

  • 3
    And the vast majority of academics I've met will be happy with this approach.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 14:13

If he/she supervised your work, and/or read your paper, and/or somehow gave his/her contribution to your paper, I think that yes, you should add his/her name as author.


Co-authorship depends on the person and (sometimes) internal rules. For instance, during my PhD it was common for the professors to consider reading a paper + giving feedback as contribution worth authorship. Some of them even thought that they deserve authorship just because they talked to you about your idea:) During my Masters (at another university) my supervisor did not only read the paper, but also corrected some errors in the formulas and checked the experimental results. When I put him as a co-author, he asked to remove his name motivating this as "I just did the work a normal supervisor will do".

So, as others suggest - do ask the professor ASAP. P.S. Many professors will not fund your trip to a conference if their name is not on the paper unless explicitly agreed beforehand:)

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