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Should I include as co-author someone who helped me in modifying a journal paper based on a peer-review I have received?

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    What was the nature of the modification? – lighthouse keeper Dec 11 '19 at 13:53
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    Depending on the nature of it, you could simply add an acknowledgement of their help. This is common practice when you get external contributions. – Seal Dec 11 '19 at 14:03
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    By "nature of the modification" folks probably mean: If he helped you with spelling, grammar, and adjectives, then probably not a co-author. If he helped you with understanding the concepts, explaining the concepts, or correcting conceptual errors, then almost certainly a co-author. If he corrected mathematical errors, then it's in the middle. – puppetsock Dec 12 '19 at 15:20
  • @puppetsockreinstateMonica Yes he helped to address one important point of concern of the reviewer. – drSlump Dec 13 '19 at 11:43
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You should consider it, I think, but there is too little information here to give a positive recommendation. It would depend on whether the other person contributed to the ideas at the heart of the paper. If they only gave advice on wording or presentation, then probably not.

Note that editors and even reviewers making suggestions don't become co-authors. You have to judge their contribution. But note that they may have an opinion about it that you should take into account as well.


But let me suggest something beyond pure accounting and ethical obligation. While this may not be true in some fields that depend on rigorous bean counting to rate people, I'd suggest a general view that you are generous rather than stingy can serve you well in the long run. If I were the commenter on your paper, I'd suggest that an acknowledgement is enough (or more than enough). If I were the author, I'd be more inclined to include the commentator than not, though the first part of this answer still applies. Over the course of your career it may matter little whether you are the sole or joint author of any given paper. But, having a wide circle of people willing to collaborate with you is a big plus in the long term.

But, if you are at the very beginning of your career and looking for a job, you might need a sole author publication at this moment. That depends on the field, I think. But I'd suggest short term thinking only if truly necessary.

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    Thanks. I have already started my carrier as researcher almost 10 years ago and the article counts already 11 authors, so one more would not change much. He supported addressing a whole review point from a review and he is also a good colleague, so I believe I will include him. – drSlump Dec 12 '19 at 8:43
  • Heh heh. I'm glad I'm not the only person who cannot spell "career." I have to look it up nearly every time. :^) – puppetsock Dec 13 '19 at 14:33
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    @puppetsockreinstateMonica, or maybe the spell "corrector" just struck again. I get dinged pretty regularly. – Buffy Dec 13 '19 at 14:34

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