My thesis has been accepted as a paper. Now, with the camera-ready submission deadline close, a new footnote appeared in the final version of the paper stating that the first (me) and second author have equal contribution. This has not been discussed with me.
In the paper, I have used the second author's algorithm (implemented as part of different project) as a component in the presented pipeline. His algorithm is an implementation of a complex paper with small modifications. It does not hold contributions in the paper by itself but it is an important component. The novelty of the paper is using this component in the context of a different task by combining it with other methods in a certain way. All the parts of the pipeline apart from this component, also all the experiments and evaluations have been done by me as part of my thesis. Can equal authorship still be reasonable in this case? What are the conditions for equal contribution authorship? He still spent a lot of time on this component, but it was as part of his own project.
The second author is a PhD student and maybe he can benefit from equal contribution authorship (although not sure exactly how it works). However: What is the impact of such equal authorship on me as a first author? I plan to use this paper in my CV, potentially for a PhD candidate position - can equal authorship make a noticeable influence when looking at the paper?
Thanks in advance.
TL;DR: Primary Question:
- How to handle an equal authorship appearing in the final paper draft which was not agreed upon in advance?
- What are the conditions fo equal contribution of authors?
- What are the implications for the first author, if any?