In the field of applied math where a paper has been accepted for a conference presentation (talk), is it common for the ordering of the authors to be changed for a proceeding that entails thereafter?

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    Changed by who? Math typically uses alphabetical ordering of names.
    – Buffy
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 12:37
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    Also, do you want to know whether it is common (as you have asked), generally acceptable, or possible? For common, I suspect answers will be subjective, because I doubt datasets exist. For generally acceptable, it is still somewhat subjective. I'd argue yes, it is generally acceptable (in some fields), because many conferences don't define rules on changing the author order (whereas journals more typically do). For possible, the answer is yes. If the rules don't forbid it, then just do it, otherwise, ask permission.
    – user2768
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:08
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    @Buffy: Not in applied math. Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:55
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    @WolfgangBangerth, thanks.I learn something new every day.
    – Buffy
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:56
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    In my experience (materials science), it is not uncommon that between the abstract submission (months before the conference) and the submission of the conference proceedings (at or after the conference) that the scope of the talk and paper may well change. This may result in adding new authors or shuffling the order of authors. It can be a moving target.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


Here is a quite frequently occurring extreme case which may help you evaluate your own situation:

As @JonCuster also mentioned in their comment, there is always plenty of time between the abstract submission and the presentation itself, and the work typically evolves a lot during that period. Imagine it evolved such that new collaborators were added. Adding new names in there may change the list of authorship a lot. Imagine also that you actually submitted the manuscript by the time you present it, of course with the co-authors on it. In the conference, strictly adhering to the list of authors submitted in the abstract would mean removing your new co-authors, which should be out of question as it is best practice to give them credit as co-authors of your work. Thus, the list of authors can definitely change during the actual presentation as one is usually entitled to also present improvements to one's work. Whether it is common in your field, I don't know, but my guess would be that it is not too rare.


My experience is it is no big deal provided the papers are not set for publishing. I would consider it similar to any other minor edit to the paper. If it can be done logistically fine. If it requires review, and authors wouldn't, not fine.


In general it is not possible to change the order of authorship once a piece of work is accepted at a conference/journal etc. This is for several reasons:

  1. Authors should think about the order of the authors before they submit and if the work contributions afterwards change then this work is normally not part of the submission and what counts is what was submitted on not if further work was put into it later.
  2. The reluctance to change authorships also comes from the fact that sometimes authors try to get their name of a fraudulent paper and this is something journals want to avoid at all.

If you can prove exceptional circumstances and all other authors agree (in writting) you might have a change by writing to who ever is in charge. But this should only be done if really necessary and you have a really good reason.

  • Is having two first authors an alternative to havin one first author? Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 13:29
  • Yes, you can put "shared" but be aware that it then will most of the time count just half as well.
    – lordy
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 14:45

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