I'm an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo. I'm writing a paper potentially for IEEE Security and Privacy, which is a semi-academic magazine. Basically, papers follow the abstract, body, lots of references format, and read like research papers, but apparently generally exposit some random software gadget produced by the author's research etc, so not a super-academic journal.

My question is, how should I put my name on the paper? Should I just write "Yuhao Dong" or "Yuhao Dong, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo" or something else? I don't want to be misunderstood to be a faculty member.


4 Answers 4


The answer to this and all such similar questions is in two stages:

  1. first, check the journal's guidelines for authors. The answer's probably there.
  2. If the answer isn't there, ask your editorial contact at the journal.

Grad students often write "PhD candidate" on their websites, etc., so you might consider "Yuhao Dong, BSc candidate, School of Computer Science (or whatever your department is), University of Waterloo".

Edited to add: I was curious, so I checked the author guidelines. They don't indicate how to specify your affiliation, so I would either ask the editor or look at some articles from the most recent issue and copy their style.

  • 2
    Is this done in published papers (rather than websites)? I haven't seen it myself. Occasionally there are short biographies at the end of the paper, which could be an appropriate place to mention this, but I haven't seen it included as part of the address or affiliation. Sep 16, 2013 at 13:38
  • @AnonymousMathematician I haven't seen it in papers, but IEEE magazines aren't journals, so the formatting is different (e.g., I believe they prohibit footnotes). That said, the real answer is "ask the editor", but the OP was concerned about being mistaken for a faculty member, and this would make it obvious that he isn't.
    – user6782
    Sep 16, 2013 at 21:40

You should put your name, your university, and (if appropriate) your department. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which department to put. When I was in undergrad, I listed the departments that were paying me, or in which my concentration (i.e. major) I was. If when you were working on the project, you were employed by some professor or received an award (say NSERC) through your department, then that is the easiest affiliation. In your case, this means that you would go further than "Faculty of Mathematics" and say something like "Department of Combinatorics & Optimization, University of Waterloo" (I am just randomly guessing a department in the faculty, replace appropriately). Sometimes, it might make sense to instead of placing a department to place the name of the lab on which you worked, but for that ask your professor.

Further, if you plan to stay in academia (or go to grad school) then you should decide at this point (I am assuming this is your first publication) what your academic name will be. Search Google Scholar for your name, and see if somebody in your field is already using it. If it is a common name then it might be worthwhile to add an initial to disambiguate.

  • This research is independent and not funded by my university (nor does it actually require much money except temporarily renting some Amazon EC2 instances and hacking up a whole bunch of code), though some friends have given informal help and I put them in acknowledgements.
    – ithisa
    Sep 16, 2013 at 11:59

To answer the title question:
Yes, you should include your university affiliation. (Particularly important if you plan to stay in academia or go to grad school--and at this point I would advise at least keeping those options open.)

Consider something like this:

"Yuhao Dong, Student, Department of Mathematics, University of Waterloo."


"Yuhao Dong, Candidate for BSc, Department of Mathematics, University of Waterloo."

This clearly indicates where you have done the work, as well as specifying that you are a student rather than a faculty member.

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